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InfoQ Homepage News Google Releases Android 7.0 with over 250 New Features

Google Releases Android 7.0 with over 250 New Features

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Google has started updating certain devices to the latest Android 7.0, dubbed Nougat. Usually, a new version of Android would start to be pushed to devices during the fall, in late September or even October. But this year they changed the pace, making available a preview in March and the GA in August.

Nougat comes with over 250 new features, according to Google. Among these we note:

  • A new Interpreter+JIT+AOT compiler that we presented in detail earlier. Basically, this compiler reduces the application installation time and storage space, and compiles hot portions of the code when the phone is idle to improve performance.
  • Daydream, a VR SDK to create virtual reality experiences on mobile devices. There is a SDK for Unity 3D engines that can be used to create VR applications for both Android and iOS, and there is another SDK specifically for Android.
  • Vulkan, a cross platform graphics and compute API for modern GPUs from the Khronos Group. Vulkan is not only for smartphones but also for PCs, consoles and even embedded devices. The Vulkan 1.0 spec was made available earlier this year.
  • Multi-windows. On Nougat developers can create two windows that run one above the other, or side by side in split screen mode. Apps can be resized.
  • With Direct Reply developers can enhance notifications to let users take action directly from the notification drawer.
  • Doze, introduced in Android Marshmallow, was improved to apply CPU and network restrictions to applications when the screen is off and the device is not plugged in. That means synchronizations and network accesses are permitted only during certain time windows to save battery.
  • Svelte is an enhancement meant to lower the memory footprint of applications running in background.

For a more complete coverage of what is new in Android Nougat, we recommend reading Android 7.0 for Developers which includes details on Data Saver, Number Blocking, Call Screening, Multi-locale support, New Emojis, WebView, which is back in Chrome, Virtual Files, and others.

Several Nexus devices, Pixel C and devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will be the first to receive Android Nougat. If in previous years the first new device to receive a new Android version was a Nexus, this year LG V20 will be the first to taste Nougat.

Google informed that they are already working on the first Nougat update that will be made available some time this fall, bringing fixes and small refinements.

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