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Android Nougat 7.0 Released

Google today announced Android 7.0 Nougat, a major upgrade of its flagship mobile OS, is finally rolling out to users.

In the race to upgrade their respective mobile OSes, Google beat Apple, which just announced another preview of iOS in advance of an expected rollout of version 10 possibly within a month or so.

The Nougat rollout begins about a month after Google issued its final developer preview of the OS. Initially, it's being distributed to Nexus devices, said Google, which noted that the 7.0 code is also being pushed out to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

"Starting today and rolling out over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over-the-air software update to Android 7.0 Nougat," the company announced in an Android Developer blog post. "Devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version."

In another blog post on its Android site, Google pointed out to a different development workflow that led to today's rollout.

"We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year," the company said. "For starters, we invited developers to take a sneak peek at Android N back in March, so they could bring their apps to the new platform earlier. And of course we asked you to help us come up with names for this year's release, resulting in lots of great ideas, and a delicious unveiling back in June."

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[Click on image for larger view.] More than 1,500 Emoji, Including 72 New Ones (source: Google)

Google invited developers working with the previews to continue to file bugs and feedback, as it will soon be closing out the bugs reported in the previews. "If you still see an issue that you filed in the preview tracker, just file a new issue against Android 7.0 in the AOSP issue tracker," the company said.

New developer-oriented features of the new Android 7.0 include: multi-window support; notification enhancements; profile-guided JIT/AOT compilation; speedier app installs and system updates; doze on the go battery saver; optimizations of the way apps run in the background; an improved SurfaceView class for better battery performance; a new Data Saver mode to conserve cellular data use; a Vulkan API for 3D rendering; 72 new emoji; and many more.

The new OS also makes some allowances for the latest in cutting-edge mobile technology.

"Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers like you, all around the world," Google said. "There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, including VR Mode in Android. We've worked at all levels of the Android stack in Nougat -- from how the operating system reads sensor data to how it sends pixels to the display -- to make it especially built to provide high quality mobile VR experiences."

Google also announced some changes in the way Nougat development and maintenance is conducted and even announced plans for a new series of developer previews.

"We're moving Nougat into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters," the company said. "In fact, we've already started work on the first Nougat maintenance release, that will bring continued refinements and polish, and we're planning to bring that to you this fall as a developer preview. Stay tuned!"

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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