Android Versions

Android 7.0 Nougat, Review: We Tested the Best Version to Date

With Android 7.0 Nougat we are facing the most important update to date of the Google operating system. More than 250 features that make Nougat the best version of Android.

As in previous years, Google has allowed us to live up to the development of this new version with the different previous versions of Android N that have been released every month since March. We have seen the previous version were adding novelties, optimizations and bug fix to create the great version of Android 7.0 Nougat.

A More Efficient Operating system

From what I’ve been able to check with a Nexus 6P, the final version of Android 7.0 Nougat can calmly boast of fluency. Everything works smoothly and quickly, which was not the case with the earlier versions. What’s more, the device works even better than with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The new application execution environment ART with JIT compilation (just-in-time) makes the installation and update of applications much faster. The applications are compiled during execution and only the parts of the code that we are using at the moment, as soon as the device connects to the loader will finish compiling the applications. Apps that took almost a minute to install as Facebook now do so in a few seconds.

During the days that I have been using Nougat, I have not seen any slowdown, the whole system runs with great fluidity the system and the applications. Project Svelte now optimizes the RAM consumption of applications in the background so they are not saturated with unnecessary processes that affect device performance. This improvement will notice much more in devices with low RAM.

As for autonomy, we will not find ourselves with big surprises. With Nougat the Doze battery saving now will also work with the moving device. The device to be kept in our pocket, backpack or car will apply the same savings policies as if it is standing on a table, i.e will be put into hibernation reducing system calls, access to networks, search Wi-Fi and GPS networks and synchronization without affecting the most important notifications. This helps to extend the battery a little more, but not much, since we do not usually have the device in the pocket for a long time without touching it.

Nougat will squeeze the graphics power of our devices with the new low-level Vulkan graphics API like Microsoft Direct X12 or Apple Metal. Now games that make use of Vulkan will show better graphics, with more effects and more fluids than with OpenGL ES. This I checked with Need for Speed No Limits which is already compatible with Vulkan and makes the game run more fluid and showing better graphics and more effects that make it look like a game console. It presents a promising future for Android with graphics quality games of new generation consoles.

Android 7.0 Nougat Lower Performance?

As I have already advanced before, Android 7.0 works with total fluidity and speed in the Nexus, it even gives the feeling that everything goes better than Android 6.0, which goes all faster and without slowing down, but the surprise we took when we analyzed the performance of this new version with benchmarks, which yield worse results .

 NEXUS 6P (ANDROID 6.0)  NEXUS 6P (ANDROID 7.0)
ANTUTU61623
58709
GEEKBENCH (SINGLE / MULTI)
1342/4778
750/3227
QUADRANT
23643
20765
PCMARK
4370
3975
3DMARK ICE STORM UNLIMITED
22478
15543

Few Changes in its interface

In Android 7.0 we will not find a radical change in its interface. Material Design remains for another year more Android interface that was launched in 2014 with Android 5.0 Lollipop. What if we find a redesign in the bar of notifications, adjustments and view of recent applications? With the base of Material Design, Google has focused on perfecting its interface, improving usability with the improvements we will see below.

Android is More Productive than Ever

There are many new features of Android 7.0 Nougat but the most important one is the split screen mode. Google finally brings us natively the multiventana, a feature that other manufacturers such as Samsung, Microsoft and Apple had already implemented in their operating systems.

Google has successfully implemented the split screen. Very simple, we can see and use two applications at once, such as watching a video on YouTube while chatting with our friends in WhatsApp.

Android 7.0 gives us two ways to activate the split screen. You can activate it from the recent view, by dragging an application up, or by pressing and holding the recent button. Once we have two applications on screen we can change their sizes by dragging their line.

We see that Android does not let us put the size we want in applications, we have to be satisfied that each application occupies half screen or that one of the applications occupy about 2/3 of the screen and the other 1/3. In the horizontal position of the mobiles, we will not be able to change the size of the applications.

The new split-screen mode of Android works very well and presents a very promising future. It allows drag and drops data between applications, although this will have to be implemented by application developers. At most I have only managed to drag text from one application to another, and this does not work in all applications either.

You will have to get used to using split screen. The first seems all very confusing but soon we will understand how it behaves. We will see that the “Back” button affects the last application that we touched, that if an application launches a new application it does in the other half, that if we press the Home button and open a new application it always does in the lower half, and that if we close an application by pressing the “Back” button we return to the home screen by not seeing the other application until we open the second application again.

In the split screen, care must be taken when using the “Back” button.

Next to the split screen also opens in Nougat the rapid change between applications. Tapping a few times on the recent button will change between the last two open applications. It’s the Android ALT + TAB. This option will surely enchant more than one, since with a double click you return to the previous application, saving us the time that we will lose opening the list of recent applications.

The feeling with Android 7.0 Nougat is that we are facing a much more productive operating system, something perfect for tablets and convertibles, which were losing bellows against the big Windows 10. Now in the hands of developers is to add the best multitasking support in their applications for Android.

Much More Useful Notifications

Android 7.0 Nougat notifications are one of the most improved components with this new release featuring the new direct responses and grouped notifications.

Android follows the steps of iOS and now we can respond directly from the notification so we do not have to open the application. It is a luxury to respond to a message from the notification without having to leave the application or game you were using. You get a notification, you give to respond, write and send everything very quickly, from notification and very well implemented.

The new grouped notifications stand out in Android 7.0 Nougat, in that they can be separated to show each of the notifications separately. For example, if three contacts send us messages in WhatsApp, we will see a single notification that we can now extend to see the three notifications to handle them independently. This way we can discard a message or respond from the notification bar.

Greater Personalization and Accessibility

With Nougat, Google has put more emphasis on the personalization that presumably boasts its Android operating system. Your notifications bar comes with a new, fully customizable quick settings bar. Now without tricks, we can customize to our taste the bar of quick settings, adding, removing and changing positions that we are most interested in, that is what we like users, enjoy the Android customization.

The new version of Android also cares about people with vision problems, adding a new adjustment of vision that allows us to increase or decrease the size of the elements of the screen. In other words, it allows us to change the screen density in a simple way. The interface and applications adapt perfectly to the different sizes available. Now people with vision problems have more facilities to use Android.

Android 7.0 Nougat Comes With New settings

Google wants to help the less advanced users to squeeze their devices, and for this, in the renewed settings we find the new suggestions that invite us to discover what we can configure next to the alerts that warn us that important settings have been disabled. You do not have to enter each section to see how we have configured the device, we can now see how it is configured from the main list, which is greatly appreciated. We also find a new side navigation menu that allows us to jump between sections.

In Adjustments of this new version, we find three other novelties that deserve a special attention. A new data economizer will reduce the use of background data intelligently to help us save on our data rate. The new multi-local support that allows us to assign our list of favourite languages so that if one application is not translated into our native language it is shown in another second language. And finally, Android 7.0 includes a much more complete file explorer that will prevent us from having to install another browser.

Faster Updates

Android 7.0 Nougat incorporates new ‘Seamless’ updates where you will not have to wait so long for the device to restart to apply the update. Updates will be made much faster, after upgrading from a previous version of Android N I have seen as there was no long wait for applications to be optimized to the new version, which has not happened to me when updating a Nexus 5X from Android Marshmallow to Nougat.

Another important innovation of the new devices with Android Nougat is that they can install software updates in the background so you do not have to expect anything at all, just what it takes the device to reboot to cool down to the new version. This novelty will be received by all with open arms because for many it was desperate to update the device because it could throw almost an hour updating and optimize the applications. It’s all a hit with Google.

Android is on the Way

From Android Marshmallow we are facing a very mature operating system, which is why most of Nougat’s news is internal, in optimizations and support of new technologies, such as Vulkan or virtual reality with Daydream. The external improvements as we have are few, but not least, the screen split and the quick answers were two features that many users were asking to see on Android.

Nougat makes clear that it has great aspirations and marks a very promising future where now one of its objectives is to conquer desktop applications through Chrome OS to boost the sale of tablets and Chromebooks.

Is it Worth Upgrading?

If you have a Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player or Pixel C do not hesitate to upgrade, this is the best version of Android for now. My experience with the last previous version in July was perfect and it is still with the final version of Android 7.0 Nougat.

Android 7.0 Nougat enhances everything and adds functionality as requested as split screen, fast switching between applications, quick responses or customization of quick settings. Everything is more refined and we see how the interface of Material Design continues to evolve to offer us a minimalist and intuitive operating system.

I have not found any bug in updating to this new version of Android, it is perfect and as soon as you try your main novelties you will wonder how you could have been so long without them.Though, you can as well check out all Android versions here or read more about Android 8.0 Oreo.

Have you upgraded your Nexus or Pixel C smartphone to this latest version?

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