Android 7.0 Nougat reviews: Should you upgrade your device?

Also in today's open source roundup: The best new features in Android 7.0 Nougat, and the official Android 7.0 Nougat release announcement

androud nougat 7.0 on nexus 6p

Android 7.0 Nougat reviews

Android 7.0 Nougat has finally started rolling out to devices, and many people are no doubt wondering if it's a worthwhile upgrade. Some prominent tech sites have just released reviews of Android 7.0 Nougat, so here’s a roundup of some early reviews that will give you an idea of what Android 7.0 has to offer.

Ars Technica: Nougat's new features make big phones more useful

Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica has a very deep and detailed review of Android 7.0 Nougat that runs 13 pages :

In my five months of using various developer and final versions of Android 7.0 Nougat, my big takeaway is that Nougat significantly improves the user experience on big screen phones. The new “Display Size” feature is the most significant improvement, allowing users to finally reduce the UI scale of apps. This allows phablet users to see more on the screen at a time while still keeping everything at a reasonable size. Before Nougat, a bigger screen usually just meant a bigger UI, which still showed roughly the same amount of information. Fans of data density will love Display Size.

Larger phones can definitely make better use of the new split screen mode, too, giving you more space to see both of your apps. For the really big Android devices (tablets), the OS got a little less worse when compared to iOS. A tablet in split screen is basically like two smartphone apps side-by-side, which matches up well with Android’s lack of tablet app selection. The big shame with split screen support right now is that app support for it is awful. Most apps (aside from video players) fail to update when they aren’t the being focused on by the user. Get on that app support, developers!

Split screen isn’t just about seeing two apps side-by-side, though. It also brings a resizable app framework that will power Android apps on even bigger devices than tablets, like Chrome OS laptops. Throw in Android’s experimental multi-window support, and one day we might get a fully-desktop ready Android OS someday, too.

We won’t see all the ramifications of Android 7.0 for some time. Besides resizable apps changing things all over the ecosystem, we’ve got platform changes aimed at creating a VR ecosystem on Android with Daydream, Vulkan support for game developers that will someday enable OS UI changes, and a reworking of the partition layout to a system that we won’t get to test until new hardware arrives.


Nougat unlocks the power of a big screened phone with an adjustable UI size and split screen apps.

The new notification panel. Drill down into bundled notifications or hold an entire conversation without ever opening an app.

New Quick Settings brings toggles right to the notification panel and is customizable by users.

“Notification Power Controls” brings tons of fine-grained controls over notifications.

The dual system partition setup sounds like OS update will never (well, probably never) brick a device again.


App support for split screen is seriously lacking. With the exception of video apps, today it’s easy to end up with one live app and one frozen screenshot of an app living side-by-side.


Another release and another year of ignoring Android’s update problem.

More at Ars Technica

The Verge: Android 7.0 is great but which phones will get it?

Deiter Bohn at The Verge liked Android 7.0 Nougat but wondered how many devices will actually get it:

Google has announced that the latest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, is rolling out to newer Nexus devices starting today. It’s a good upgrade, but only available if you have a recent Nexus device like the Nexus 6, 6P, 5X, Pixel C, or Nexus 9 tablet — and it will take some time for everybody’s devices to receive the over-the-air update. I’ve been using the various public betas that have been running since March of this year and most of the bugs have been worked out.

Nougat isn’t radically different from the last version, Marshmallow, but does add a handful of notable user-facing features. Some of them, like improved multitasking, are long overdue and really useful on tablets. The rest are tweaks around the edges — but there are bigger changes underneath that should make Android faster and more secure, too.

But the story of Nougat isn’t really whether it’s any good. Instead, it’s the same old Android tale: unless you have a Nexus, it could be a few months, it could be a year, before it becomes available on your phone. The real story of Nougat isn’t happening today, it’s going to happen over the next few months as we watch to see which Android phones will actually be updated.

What kind of story is this? For Nexus owners, it’s a heartwarming yarn. For nearly everybody else, it’s a mystery.

More at The Verge

WCCF Tech: Android 7.0 Nougat is uninspiring and could have been much better

Uzair Ghani at WCCF Tech found Android 7.0 Nougat to be a bit of a disappointment:

Since the past couple of years, Android updates have hit a concrete wall. Feature additions have gotten pretty mundane while focus on under the hood changes have become key for Google. Obviously, that’s a good thing, for some folks out there, but it’s a approach that doesn’t stand the test of time really very well. Users get frustrated after seeing the same thing over and over again. Same is absolutely true when you compare Android 7.0 Nougat directly with its predecessor, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Don’t get me wrong here – Nougat is a good update in its own right and fares definitely better in terms of stability and performance compared to Marshmallow, but as a user I am frustrated to see the same thing from last year rehashed under a new name. So if you’re expecting something groundbreaking in this release, then you might want to lower your hopes.

A lot.

Basically, it’s clear in this update that Google has used up most of its feature-related resources and is now focussing on playing safe in the smartphone and tablet space, leaving a lot to be desired. In other words: Nougat is a pretty uninspiring release, but yet it gets the job done on a user level.

More at WCCF Tech

The Guardian: Android 7.0 is a great update

Samuel Gibbs at The Guardian noted Android 7.0’s improved notifications, longer battery life and speed improvements:

It features longer battery life, improved multitasking and smarter notifications in a slimmed down and refined Android experience – following on the work done in last year’s version 6 Marshmallow

It is faster, more polished and a subtly-better experience all-round. Apps install more quickly, the OS can be smaller in size and updates to Android can be installed on the fly, without having to wait for 10 minutes while it reboots, if you have a new device. The new Vulcan API graphics system is also baked in for better gaming performance and Nougat will support Google’s Daydream virtual reality system, eventually.

Nougat is not, however, a major visual overhaul of Android. Those that have used Marshmallow on any of Google’s Nexus smartphones or devices with little in the way of modification to Android, such as the OnePlus 3, will instantly recognise it.

Overall Android 7.0 Nougat is a great update. It makes some significant changes under the hood that provide benefits including longer battery life. The visual tweaks are subtle and most will likely be masked by the customisations made to Android by third-party manufacturers.

More at The Guardian

The best new features in Android 7.0 Nougat

There are plenty of new features in Android 7.0 Nougat and Lifehacker has a helpful roundup of what you can expect to see in the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.

Chris Jäger reports for Lifehacker:

Today, Google began rolling out its latest mobile operating system — Android 7 (AKA “Nougat”) — to select Nexus devices. Here are the major changes you need to know about.

The OS formerly known as Android N is officially out today for a range of Nexus phones. Now dubbed “Android Nougat”, the new mobile operating system ushers in some noteworthy improvements and new productivity tools which we’ve included below.

Smarter notifications

Multi-window mode

Quick Switch

Icon size adjustments

Advanced file manager

Data Saver

Doze mode

Customise Quick Settings

Direct replies from notifications bar

Multi Locale language settings

72 new emojis

Vulkan API

JIT Compiler

Virtual Reality mode

More at Lifehacker

The official Android 7.0 Nougat release announcement

Last but certainly not least (just in case you missed it) is the official announcement of Android 7.0 Nougat from Google's Android blog:

Today, we’ll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices. And with more ways to make Android your own, it’s by far our sweetest release yet.

We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year. 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.

Today, and 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. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.

And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20 which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box. You can learn even more about Android Nougat at

More at the official Android blog

Did you miss a roundup? Check the Eye On Open home page to get caught up with the latest news about open source and Linux.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?