Around this time each year, I start to get jazzed about one of two major updates. Depending on which operating system I’m using, that’s either iOS or Android. This year, as a Galaxy S7 user, I should be excited about Android Nougat – and I am. However, as a Galaxy S7 user it’s likely going to be a while before I personally will be able to enjoy Nougat on my phone. Nonetheless, I’m anxiously awaiting the official release of Nougat, which will presumably be arriving soon (and with two new Nexus devices in tow to boot, which makes things extra exciting).
Nougat looks to enhance all areas of Android with a tweaked design, enhanced security, and faster performance. It seems like a solid update, but there are a few features that I’m itching to have more than others at this point – three, to be exact.
If I had to pick one thing I miss from my iPhone, it would be a toss-up between iMessage and how well it manages battery when I’m not using the phone. I often forget to charge my phone before going to bed, and with the iPhone it was never an issue. 4-8% lost overnight seemed average. Despite tweaks here and there of turning off background programs and notifications, my Galaxy S7 has a much harder time holding onto a charge overnight. I’m sure if I did more tweaking the situation would be better, but the point is that with my iPhone I didn’t have to do anything to achieve those results. I’m hoping that this enhanced version of Android’s Doze gets us closer to that level.
Since I’m using a Galaxy S7, I already have multi-window support enabled. Honestly, I never thought I would use it as often as I do, but I do. And it’s fine and dandy that I have this readily available on my S7, but I know that I won’t be sticking with Samsung for the rest of my life. It’s nice to know that Nougat is introducing multi-window support, so future Android devices will also have this handy feature available for us to use as well.
To sum up what Nougat brings to the table in terms of notifications, we’re looking at more efficient use of space with smaller fonts, better organization by grouping notifications together according to the app that they came from, and the option to reply directly from the notification itself. All of this sounds amazing, especially the Quick Reply function, which I also miss from iOS. Definitely one of the more exciting aspects of Android Nougat for me.
I want to be excited for Allo and Duo, Google's new two-part messaging and video call system, but I’m not. Also, I don't think this really counts as an Android Nougat feature as they're standalone apps that will maybe(?) be released around the same time, which partly why it earns the honorable mention status. I think it looks like it’s fun to use, but I’m not about trying to convince my friends to switch from whatever it is they’re using to either of these apps. I already did that with Hangouts and here we are again. I think if this was the default messaging system for all Androids it would have a much better shot, but that’s not going to happen. I wish Allo and Duo had been introduced earlier. As far as messaging goes, I’ll probably just stick with Textra, as it has been working out quite well for me since discovering it a few months ago.
I look forward to seeing how Nougat will play out in the real world, and I’m even more interested on how it will have an effect on the S7 (and other Samsung devices); some of the bigger changes coming in Nougat just seem to make other Androids more “Samsung-y”, but in all the right ways.
Android users, what are you most eager to see out of Android Nougat? Let us know in the comments below!