Android Nougat officially exits Beta and rolling out to Nexus devices

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Android Nougat is officially out of beta and rolling out now for Google’s own Nexus devices (the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player), the Pixel C tablet and the General Mobile 4G.

Owners of those devices, regardless of whether you were enrolled in the beta program or not, should see an update prompt fairly soon. The first new phone that will come with Android Nougat pre-installed is the LG V20, which is scheduled to arrive September 6.

The most obvious change in Nougat is in the notifications system. The look is now closer to Google’s Material Design guidelines and, more importantly, most applications now allow you to take an action or respond to a message right from the notification. Nougat also bundles together notifications from the same app, so you can, for example, see all the messages with the same topic bundled into one expandable notification.

Google has also redesigned the Quick Settings widget you see when you pull down from the top. Among other things, you can now easily move items around without having to enable developer mode. If you only swipe down a little bit, you will only see a compact view for the first five items in the menu. Swiping down a bit further shows you all options.

Another new feature is the ability to switch between your two most recently used apps by double-tapping the Overview button (the square button that usually shows you your most recently used apps). Nougat also now lets you see two apps side-by-side (or on top of each other).

Android Nougat also has plenty of new features that you don’t interact with directly and promises improved battery life thanks to an improved version of Marshmallow’s Doze mode, for example, which put the device into a battery-saving deep sleep when you put your device down and didn’t move it for a while. In this new version, Doze will activate even when you’re on the go but haven’t used the device for a while.

Android Nougat’s Data Saver mode can now help you reduce the amount of background data apps use. This will still allow push notifications to come through, but apps will be restricted from downloading large amounts of data while they are not in the foreground and you can whitelist apps as well.

Google also promises that your device will now boot faster and that Nougat does a better job at isolating the files for individual users from each other thanks to file-based encryption.

OS updates, too, will now be faster, because instead of downloading the update, applying it and then optimizing all your apps, Android Nougat now installs the updates in the background; when you restart, it simply switches over to the new version and you’re done.

For gamers, Nougat brings support for the new Vulkan standard.

Nougat also features a virtual reality mode called Daydream that will ensure that VR apps run smoother.

Google says the over-the-air update to Android Nougat will go out as part of a staged rollout over the coming fortnight. As normal, if you don’t want to wait, you’ll be able to manually update by flashing a system image from today, although at the time of publishing the images are not currently available to download.

Interestingly, beta users are quite correctly getting the update first but you can also sign up for the beta today and receive the OTA immediately.

You can check out all the news features in Android Nougat here.

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