Android Nougat may have a few cons to balance out its many pros, but it has plenty of love worthy features. The user base might be limited right now, but as soon it starts to open up, so many more Android users will learn to love what 7.0 has to offer. If you haven’t been keeping up with what good things Nougat brings to the table, I’ll fill you in.
I guarantee you’ll love at least one of the features on display here, and be excited by at least a few more of them. A new version of Android first getting its start is always an exciting time in the Android world, even if availability is slim at first. If you can’t get Nougat on your device yet, you can at least see what you have to look forward to this year.
1. Much Better Notifications
What I want to talk about first is one of the Nougat features that I love the most. In 7.0, notifications are better than ever with the introduction of doubling, and quick replies. First up, let’s talk about doubling, and why it’s something that you’ll love seeing.
On top of notifications on your lock screen just looking better, in general, they’re now grouped intelligently and are expandable and collapsable at any point in time. Before, notifications would display less and less information the more notes you had in a stack, but now you can see everything you need to before you erase the notification.
This works well with the new direct reply system; if this isn’t a Nougat feature that you’ll love, I don’t know what will win you over. Now you can reply to individual notifications in bundled stacks, or all of them if you want. The choice is up to you, and it’s about time that it is.
One more thing that makes notifications in 7.0 great is the new and easily accessible priority system. Keep getting notifications from something you want to ignore? Just long press the notification on your lock screen to access that notification’s settings. Here you can set to ignore them, make them silent, and change how they interact with your phone in general.
I like each of my notifications to behave a specific way, so if you’re anything like me, you’ll love this new Nougat feature.
Once you get used to the way notifications work on Android 7.0, you’ll wonder how you ever used the primitive and clunky notification system you did previously. It’s an advancement in every sense of the word, and hopefully, it’s here to stay.
2. Revamped Settings Menu
I talked about notification settings briefly earlier, but what about all of your other Android settings? Settings have been revamped in Android 7.0, and here’s how.
Now when you’re on any page of your settings that isn’t the starting menu, there’s a hamburger icon off to the side. Tapping the three lines bring up a settings pane that mirrors your starting menu.
Thanks to this, you can easily jump to any section of your settings from any point within them. There’s no more having to backtrack through three different menus to where you want to go, making changing settings around easier, and faster at the same time. Additionally, you can swipe from the left side of the screen to bring this up.
On the main settings menu, each category now displays important information under its title. This way you can see certain toggles, your connected network, data usage, email accounts, display information, and much more at a glance without needing to tap it.
This saves a lot of time when you just want to check something quickly, and just makes your settings easier to browse in general. It’s feature in Nougat that’s simple, but I’m sure you’ll love if you spend a lot of time in your settings.
3. A Doze Mode That Works While You Move
Doze isn’t a new feature on Android devices, but the way it works in Nougat helps improve the feature during day to day use. The problem with older version of Doze is that while it saved you energy, it only works while your phone is staying still, and idle. Doze detects this state and then starts to disable certain background processes.
This means that while you’re carrying your phone with you during the day, Doze doesn’t work, until now. In 7.0, Doze functionality is improved to work while your phone is in your pocket, a bag, or your purse. It does the same things that old Doze does but can just do them more often.
I feel like it’s one of the many Nougat features you’ll love if your phone stays locked for most of the day.
4. You Don’t Have to Sign in to Get Notifications
This feature sounds like a bit of an odd one, but it has to deal with Android Nougat’s new encryption system that I’ll get into later. On older versions of Android, if you have a PIN or pattern system set on your phone for security, it keeps your personal data and app data locked up tight until you unlock it.
This means that until you unlock your phone at least once, you won’t receive notifications, or almost anything because your phone doesn’t have permission to decrypt any of the information on it.
This is mainly a problem if your phone resets during the day, and you don’t catch that it rebooted. If this happens on an older version of Android, you won’t receive any more notifications that day until you unlock your phone.
However, in Nougat, you’ll still receive notifications because of 7.0’s different encryption rules. Your data is still as safe as it was before, if not even safer, but now you won’t miss out on important information because of a random phone reboot.
5. A Better Encryption System for More Security and fewer Headaches
Above is one of the reasons why this new encryption system is better for the user, but what is all of this about anyway? In previous versions of Android, the entire disk was encrypted, meaning nothing could be accessed until decryption started. This meant that system files, user data, and even small things were all put under the same blanket.
This doesn’t sound like a Nougat feature you’ll love, but I promise it gets more interesting. Now, Android 7.0 has different encryption policies for all types of data. This what allows Direct Boot to work the way it does, and it also keeps all of your data even safer by placing it under specific protection.
This means you can access your files easier, and outside access to your files is even harder. How’s that for something worthy of a little love?
6. Split-screen Apps are Exciting
Here’s a feature that you’ll love when it works properly, but scratch your head until it’s better optimized. Split-screen apps seem to be the future of optimized functionality, so being able to run two apps simultaneously is a big leap for Android as a whole.
The prospect of running apps in split-screen is an exciting one, but it isn’t a prospect that everyone has capitalized on yet. Once Nougat is in more hands, and more apps start to support it officially, split-screen is going to be a feature everyone won’t be able to live without. Until then, it’s cool but underutilized.
7. Seamless Updating so You’re Never Interrupted
This is a Nougat feature that you’ll love, but only if you have one of the few phones that can take advantage of it currently. Android 7.0 can update seamlessly in the background and provide you a better experience with small updates over small spans of time.
This means goodbye to having to stop everything you’re doing to update your phone, and no more being annoyed by constant update requests that refuse to go away until they’re satisfied.
8. The Recent Apps Menu Has Changed for the Better
Have you ever opened your recent apps menu and been surprised by how much stuff you’ve just left open? I’m surprised by it pretty much every day, so the changes to the recent apps menu are extremely welcome. When you open your recent apps menu, you’ll now be greeted with a smaller number of cards, but they’ll be bigger in size.
There’s even a Clear All button now so you don’t have to spend the time swiping through or closing apps that you’re done with. It’s a welcome change to the recent apps menu that makes your overview easier to browse and navigate.
9. Even More Emoji to Use
Here’s a Nougat feature that I’m not sure I love, but you might. Android 7.0 is adding over 72 new emoji to its already expansive list of built-in emoticons. This is exciting news for some, but for people like me, I’ll probably only see them if someone sends them to me.
If you want more emoji in your base experience, you’ll love the addition of this feature.
10. App Quick Switching
One of the features in Android Nougat that seems pretty useful is quick switching. Now, whenever you double tap the overview button, you switch between your current app and your last used app.
This is great if you shuffle between the same two apps constantly, and it even works while in split-screen mode! It’s an impressive Nougat feature that you’ll probably love as much as I do, so I’m very happy to see it as a new standard.
11. Multi-language Switching
While this isn’t exactly a new feature, Nougat makes multi-language selection easier than ever before. You can select multiple languages, then select a primary and secondary language. This is great news for bi-lingual Android users and anyone who switches between languages, as this makes the process much easier.
12. Android for Work
If you’re familiar with Android for Work and use it regularly, you’ll love some of these new features supporting it in Nougat.
These include being able to shut off work related notifications when not at your workplace, always on VPNs and additional support for work related apps and features. If you have an Android for Work profile, your experience is going to be a lot better on Nougat.
13. More Support for Android TV
Good news for Android TV users, and those interested in the service, Nougat has more control options for Android TV and extra features. DVR is being added to the experience, alongside the control options, helping Android TV feel better, more complete, and a service worth investing in.
If you haven’t given Android TV a chance yet, maybe now is the perfect time with more support being rolled out, and with more coming down the pipeline.
14. Google Daydream Ready
Last but not least, let’s talk about Google Daydream. It’s Google’s latest VR platform, and some Android Nougat devices will be Daydream ready right out of the box.
If you’re familiar with Google Cardboard, or the Gear VR, Daydream is similar but provides a venue alongside its platform. Daydream isn’t ready just yet, but the market is always happy to accept another affordable platform for VR. If you’re already getting a phone that’s ready for Nougat, having it be additionally Daydream ready is a huge bonus.
VR has long since passed the realm of being a fad or a flash in the pan, so being able to use it with the phone you already have a great way to save money.
Android Nougat has plenty of features you’ll love to be able to carry around with you, even if availability is still spotty. As the year continues, Nougat will be on more devices, and the features will be improved. Even though it’s still early in 7.0’s life cycle, it’s already shaping up to be the best version of the OS yet.
Have any features you love about Nougat that wasn’t mentioned here? Let me know what I missed in the comments below!