The long wait is over -- for some people, at least.
Google has finally released Android 7.0 Nougat, and there isn't much new to the OS that we didn't know about before. Nexus users will be the first to enjoy the upgrade, but if you are not one of the lucky few, when can you expect to receive it?
In IT Blogwatch, we play the waiting game.
Before we jump into when phones will receive Nougat, let's review what's new with this release. Juan Carlos Torres has a few details:
If there were a single, highly anticipated feature in...Nougat, it would...be...multi-windows support. Specifically, split screen support...But that’s not the only new multi-tasking super feature...Now you can swap...your two most recently used apps by simply double-tapping the multi-tasking button.
Nougat is also loaded with options to customize your Android experience...Like...the ability to organize you Quick Settings tiles...Android 7.0...also lets your reply right within the notification...and...integrates Google’s newly re-named “Daydream” platform, a.k.a. Android VR.
Got it? Good. Now on to upgrades. Google tells us who's getting what, when:
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...devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.
And there are many...devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20...the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box.
That's not a whole lot of devices. So what does this mean for everyone else? Andrew Cunningham addresses the elephant in the room:
For the last few years we've gotten...one major release per year...Now...Google's blog posts about the Android Nougat release...strongly implies a quarterly-ish release schedule for new versions of Android.
The Android ecosystem's fragmentation is still the elephant in the room...Android phone makers are notoriously bad at getting major updates out...in a timely manner, and any hardware more than a year or two old is lucky to get updates at all...A regular quarterly release cadence could help phone makers...plan...updates better...but any update chain that relies on phone makers and cellular carriers is still going to deprive consumers of new features and important security patches.
The bottom line is, if you don't have a Nexus device, you are probably not getting Nougat right away. But all is not lost. Derek Walter has some tips for speeding up the process:
For the time being, you can still enroll in the Nougat Developer Preview if you have a Nexus device...To do this, head to g.co/androidbeta and you’ll see a list of your eligible devices...Click Enroll Device and you’ll shortly receive an over-the-air update to the Nougat beta.
[For] a more hands-on approach...you can download the factory images and install them yourself. Keep in mind this will wipe your phone, so be sure you have everything backed up...Things get trickier for those without a Nexus phone...If you want a new phone and Nougat, you should wait a few weeks until Google announces its next Nexus phones.
After all that, still excited about Nougat? For Rene Ritchie, the emoji say it all:
Android #Nougat is here! 😀
It’s downloading on all your devices now, right? … right? 😒