Google gave some more exciting news about its next operating system (announced back in March). So far, the update is being called simply "Android Nougat."
After version titles like Donut, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jellybean, it seems the tech giant has more of an obsession with sweets than I do. For a few months, Google had publicly accepted ideas for a new name (as long as the word started with the letter N).
All you had to do was search the hashtag #nameandroidn. Some of the suggestions had been quite wild, like Android Nachos. Some of the suggestions had been quite creative, like Android Nutella. My suggestion of Android Nutsack had been ignored.
Let’s recap what we know so far about Android Nougat. Probably the most noteworthy of the new features will be Multi-Tasking. Hold the Overview Key and your app will shrink to one side, giving you the option to open another app on the other side. Imagine the possibilities. Now you can chat with someone on Grindr while Facebook stalking him at the same time! Well, maybe I'm the only one that does that. Some phones have this capability already, but this will be the first time the feature is native to Android.
A better notification panel will make your smartphone even smarter. After the update, you'll be able to reply to emails and texts with ease. Though iPhone beat Android to the punch on this one, it's still a worthwhile improvement.
Other apps, like Google Hangouts, will enable you to reply to your notifications. Plus, Google promises a cleaner look and a scaled-down version of the Quick Settings menu. Quick Settings can be customized with six buttons to activate options such as Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, and Do-Not-Disturb. I only wish men were this customizable.
If you're looking to save money on that data bill, a brand-new feature called Data Saver should be the solution. Though Google's laptop operating system has Data Saver, the mobile version will act quite differently. Data Saver will limit how much cellular data your apps will be allowed to use.
So no more surprise overage charges because you decided to watch an entire Netflix season of American Horror Story on your phone. Set your cellphone plan's data limit and Data Saver will notify you when you're closing in on that maximum allowance.
Most apps will be shrunk to occupy less hard drive space. That means that it will be smaller with faster performance, just like my ex-boyfriend. Apps will see a 75 percent reduction in size, so that's more space for selfies.
Battery life will be enhanced with Doze, which was introduced in Android Marshmallow. Doze was designed to activate a low-power state when it realizes you're not moving. It's sort of like whiskey for your smartphone. With Android Nougat, expect Doze to work better.
What we don't even know for sure yet is the official release date. It is expected in the fall of 2016, but here's the downside...not every phone will be compatible with Android Nougat.
With iPhone users, Apple directly updates the software. But with Android users, Google does not directly update the software. Instead, the Mountain View company is at the mercy of phone manufacturers, wireless carriers, and chip makers. Whether you can enjoy these new features or not will depend on which phone you own.