Google is currently in the process of rolling out its 7.0 version of Android, known as Nougat, to users across various devices.
Android updates may lack the attention from mainstream media that rival iOS updates tend to garner. However, fans of Google's mobile OS are usually delighted by some genuinely innovative and useful features – many of which won't make their way to Apple's device for a long period of time.
So, what are some of the tastiest treats from Google's kitchen for Nougat users to get their teeth into?
1. Nougat Multitasking
Android has long led the way over Google with regards to offering multitasking capabilities. Nougat takes things to a new level, with capabilities that have the potential to massively boost your production. In Nougat, you can run two apps alongside one another, open on the screen at the same time. This would allow you to make notes on a topic, for example, while simultaneously researching it on an open browser tab.
If you use an Android device for pleasure as well as productivity, multitasking is something to get excited about. You could leave a social network app open in one half of the screen, for example, while leaving a chat app open in the other. Google is also adding enhanced picture in picture capabilities in order to further allow you to enjoy more than one thing at once.
2. Nougat Communication
Nougat will be the platform via which Google's future attempts at cornering the communication market unfold. The new OS will see the release of two dedicated, standalone apps to run on it – Allo and Duo.
Allo is Google's new dedicated messaging app. It aims to integrate the full Google search capability into its day to day functionality – allowing you to conduct searches from within a chat environment, for example. It also aims to make use of AI capabilities – offering suggested replies to your chats, for example, which may polarize users as either being super useful or creepy. Allo also caters to the privacy-conscious crowd, offering end to end encryption, and allowing messages to be set to destruct after a certain time.
Duo is a video messaging app which is aiming to be Google's answer to Skype and Facetime. It promises to offer better call quality over lower quality connections, and also allows users to see a live feed of who is calling them before answering the call.
3. Nougat VR
Virtual Reality is in its early stages of popularity, but the current generation of devices have been roundly applauded as being legitimate. This really seems to be the arrival of a usable iteration of VR.
Nougat is the OS by which Google will bring its own approach to VR to the world of mobile, via a platform named Daydream.
Google Daydream is very much in its infancy and is unlikely to even be supported by the current generation of smartphones. However, future-watchers will wait with baited breath to see the earliest hints of actually want Daydream will be bringing to the table in the future. This will be on devices such as the upcoming edition of Google's Nexus series.