Android Nougat is the seventh major installment of the most popular mobile operating system. The OS, when compared to previous editions, is unique in several ways.
For starters, Android Nougat made its debut before the Google I/O 2016 event, something that is unusual when looking at the recent past. Usually, Google was known to launch the first developer version at this developer event, but this wasn’t the case with Nougat, which was launched over a month earlier and by the time the I/O event was here, the OS had gone through several developer versions.
This early release of the developer version was followed by an early launch of the stable version, which began rolling out in August as opposed to the September/October period seen on previous versions. The result of this early release of Android Nougat has been that many other Android OEMs are also getting their devices updated earlier than usual.
In past cases where a new Android version was released towards the end of September or early October, the year usually ended with most non-Google devices still using the older version. But things are changing with the new Android Nougat, with quite a number of devices already seeing the update as at the time of this writing.
One major way that this quick rollout has been effected is through the launch of Android beta programs, something that wasn’t common before. Sony, Samsung, Huawei, and now ZTE have opened up beta programs that are aimed at hastening the entire rollout of the OS to compatible devices through early tests. The likes of Sony Xperia X Performance, Samsung Galaxy S7, Huawei Honor 8 and now ZTE Axon 7 can now be updated to the latest Android Nougat OS. OnePlus has also availed the program to its two flagships – OnePlus 3 and 3T, with a promise to avail the stable version this month.
Some users of Sony Xperia X Performance, Xperia XZ, LG G5, HTC 10, HTC One M9, and Moto Z series are already receiving the stable version of Android Nougat. On the other hand, we already have several newer phones in the market preinstalled with the new Nougat OS, among them LG V20, HTC Bolt and Huawei Mate 9.
As you can see, all the major names in the smartphone industry are busy working on an Android Nougat update and some already have it – a little over two months since the wider release of the OS, excluding the earlier release to Nexus devices back in August.
Google will still have to do more in order to catch up with Apple’s iOS, which has already jumped to 67% of all iOS devices out there with the new version 10. Nonetheless, there seems to be a huge change in the speed at which software updates come out with the release of Android Nougat – a change that will be a huge welcome for the entire community.