Android Nougat 7.0 is the latest official Android Operating System update and is currently available only on 0.3% of Android devices, including the Nexus 5X and 6P, and the Android One devices like General Mobile 4G. As with every update, Nougat brings many new features make users’ experience better, easier and more customizable.
Let’s start with the new features of Android N:
Last App Recall
That square you see in the Navigation buttons now has a new use. If you double-tap it, you will switch between your two most used apps. It is the short form of tapping it once, then choosing the second app window. If you are using Google Docs but you need to check something on Chrome, just open Chrome, find that information and double-tap on the recent apps button that will take you automatically to Google Docs.
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This is another use of the recent apps button. If you need to use two apps at the same time, now you can make them share the screen with each other just by long pressing the recent apps button. You need to have at least one recent app to use it. You can also move the splitting line between the apps to better manage the space. This mode can be disabled from long pressing again or by clearing all the recent apps.
Clear all recent apps
Finally, you can skip all that recent apps swiping with just a tap! Android added a Clear all button just on top of the recently used apps. It is initially hidden, and to make it visible, you need to navigate to the last recent app by swiping down. This is a nice trick to prevent accidentally clearing of all the recent apps.
Notifications coming from the same app are now grouped, and you can scroll through them, see each one in particular, or even reply to emails or messages, without unlocking your screen at all.
Notifications Importance Settings
We get notifications from almost every app that is installed on our smartphone. But not all of them are important, some of them can really be spamming us. Now that is solved. If you long press a notification, you will see a menu about its importance. To enable it again, just go to Settings->Notifications.
Scan and Search
Imagine that you saw a cool country while swiping your preferred app, but you would like some more information about it, except the name and some photos. That is easy. Long press the home button, and Nougat will scan your screen. Once found the name, it will search for you, and display the results in the same screen. And you can do that for everything you need to search.
This new feature gives the ability to interact with the notifications. You can reply to conversations from apps like Messenger, Hangouts, and other messaging apps just inside the notifications. This means that you reply with your message and dismiss the notification at the same time.
If you swipe down a status bar, you will find there some quick settings tiles. Lately, the number of these tiles has changed. There are plenty of them. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right one when there are too many. The new solution for that is the Mini-Quick Settings bar where the most used tiles are displayed. If you want to see all the tiles, then swipe down again. You can also swipe down using two fingers to open the full Quick Settings bar.
Customizing the Quick Settings tiles
Different devices have different numbers of Quick Settings tiles, depending on the hardware. Nougat lets you change the order of the tiles, hide the ones that you do not use. Just tap on Edit and then you can drag and drop the tiles.
Showing layout bounds and GPU Rendering graph
Some new tools have been added for developers too. The system can analyze the layouts of each app, and show each widget’s bounds using rectangles. It also shows an information graph about GPU usage. To use those two features, just drag their tiles on the quick settings section and then tap on them.
Search for Settings and accept suggestions
The Settings category is one of the most popular in subcategories, and plenty of widgets are hard to find. But Android is trying to keep it simple by adding the Search option inside the toolbar. You can also use the Navigation Drawer Menu on the left to switch between categories. The system gives suggestions too in order to get the best performance possible.
Android N has brought many new features and improvements over the previous versions. Looks like some of them are really useful and nice thought as a UX.
If you have any comments or questions, please let me know below.