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Neeti Vijaykumar
Neeti Vijaykumar

Tech buzz

10 reasons why Android Nougat is the most anticipated update this year

android-nougat Android Nougat replica in front of Google office on June 30, 2016 | Asif Islam /

After much speculation, Google revealed the name they picked for its newest version of Android OS this July. Continuing with their tradition of naming new versions after a sweet (Marshmallow, Lollipop, Kit Kat, Jellybean and so on), they asked people all over the world to pour in their suggestions. The names ranged from nutella to nutmeg to neyyappam, but Android version 7.0 will now be called Nougat (pronounced nu-ga). Here is a little peek into what we know about the latest version, including some amazing features:

Official release: any time now
While Google has been releasing developer preview versions since March this year, the multi-billion-dollar tech giant has said that the final version will be out in the third quarter of 2016, which would mean any time between now and September 30.

Doze, redefined
Introduced in Android Marshmallow (which is only just hitting Indian smartphone markets), the Doze mode will get an update in the new version. The battery saving mode will be activated when the screen goes off, instead of when the system becomes inactive. The data saving mode also automatically reduces image and video quality for limiting use of mobile data.

Silent background updates
The new version has a smarter, less intrusive way of ensuring your phone has all its system updates. The software updation works in the background, and gets activated the next time your phone reboots. No more forced rebooting, no more interruptions, no more waiting for an update to install itself!

Safe mode
Nougat will introduce a virus detection and prevention system that checks for virus every time the phone reboots. If a virus is found, it will stop normal booting, and offer the option to switch to a safe mode.

Multi-window browsing
The split screen feature will let the user open two apps, one beside the other or one over the other, at the same time. Android might be officially late to bring in this feature, since it is already available on iOS, Windows and third-party Android interfaces like Samsung.

Picture-in-picture for TV
Android TV devices will have the PIP feature to pin and play a video at the top of the screen, allowing users to browse through other apps, similar to the pinning feature on the YouTube app.

Redesigned notifications
Android N is introducing direct replies to messages within the notification tray. Multiple notifications from the same app are bundled together, a feature picked up from Android Wear.

New virtual reality platform
In May, Google announced that it is introducing Daydream, a virtual reality (VR) platform specially built for Android N. Said to be an advanced version of Google's Cardboard, users will need to get the VR headset and controller. This feature will enhance app performance, including that of YouTube, Street View, Play Store and Google Photos.

Speedier downloads, high quality graphics, and more
The Vulkan 3D graphics API will enable smartphone developers to use higher graphic detail, while consuming lesser battery. A JTI installer will speed up app downloads and installation by 75%, and reduce code size by 50%. File-based encryption for security, media framework hardening, improved java and language support have also been announced.

Speculated compatible phones
The developer versions had been released for the Nexus series first. According to reports, Huawei Nexus 6P and LG Nexus 5X are slated to be launched with Android N, being official Google phones. HTC 10, HTC One M9, HTC One A9, Moto Z and Moto G4 are rumoured to be the first to get updates.

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