Android “Nougat” (codenamed Android N during development) is the seventh major version of the Android operating system. First released as an alpha test version on March 9, 2016, it was officially released on August 22, 2016, with Nexus devices being the first to receive the update. The LG V20 was the first smartphone released with Nougat.

Instant Apps

Google’s new Instant Apps feature debuts in Android 7.0 and while it hasn’t gotten as much press as it should, it really is an exciting new addition to Android. In fact, we would go as far as to call it the biggest change to app stores since Apple first introduced its on-device app portal all those years ago.

In a nutshell, Instant Apps lets Android users begin using an app in the Google Play store instantly. You don’t have to buy it — heck, you don’t even have to download it. Simply open the app’s store page and you can begin testing it immediately to see if it’s something you might be interested in downloading.

This is a killer feature that really is a game-changer for users.

Multi-window App Support

Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones have had this feature for quite some time, as have a few other Android phones. Now, all handsets can take full advantage of huge displays that have become increasingly popular over the years.

With Android 7.0 Nougat, Google has added the ability for users to open two apps side by side on the screen. That means you can watch YouTube videos while you respond to emails, read a webpage on half the screen while Facebook is updating on the other half, and so on.

Power-Saving Features

Google’s new “Doze” feature debuted in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but the company is kicking its power-saving features up a notch in Android 7.0.

The original feature puts a smartphone or tablet in a dormant state when it’s not being used, but Android Nougat’s new “Doze on the Go”feature takes things a step further. Now, users will enjoy Doze’s battery-saving features even while the phone is in motion, anytime the display is off.

Also new in Android Nougat is Project Svelte, which stops apps from waking up each time a device’s network connection status changes.

Virtual Reality

Last but certainly not least is Daydream. Google saw all these different companies building separate virtual reality platforms, while likely leads to incompatibilities and can potentially hurt the VR market in the long run. In an effort to unify the mobile VR experience, Google has created the Daydream hardware and software platform for virtual reality.

This way vendors like Samsung, LG and others don’t each have to build their own VR platform or partner with different third parties. And for developers, it potentially means they can build one VR app or experience that will work across all Android devices.

Background System Updates

This new feature isn’t the sexiest addition you’ll find in Android 7.0 Nougat, but it truly is nothing short of a game-changer.

With Android Nougat, operating system updates will happen in the background, just like they do in Google’s Chrome OS. The system will download OTA updates in the background over Wi-Fi and install them as a separate system image on a device’s storage. Then the next time the device reboots, it’ll boot to the newly updated image. Voila!

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