Android 7.0 Nougat drops today, and it looks right on-target with the sneak preview that Android first released to developers last March. The new OS has updated productivity, security and personalization features that are being rolled out to Nexus devices beginning today and continuing over the next seven weeks, depending on carrier and device.

We're most excited to see navigation upgrades like multi-window apps, direct replying to notifications and picture-in-picture mode. These updates make it possible to view apps side-by-side and cut down on the need to constantly switch back and forth between apps. These might sound like small tweaks, but they could mean big things for mobile productivity, and make it possible to bypass the laptop in favor of a phone or tablet more often.

Improved battery life is another utilitarian perk. Android rolled out Doze battery-saver technology with its Marshmallow release last year. Nougat improves on this well-received feature and lets the battery go into low-power mode even when the device is getting bounced around in a bag or pocket.

Behind the scenes, Nougat has added security features that keep data private without interfering with device performance. New "Seamless updates" mean that software updates will be able to be installed in the background. Similarly, the "direct boot" feature makes apps run securely as soon as the device is powered up, while expediting the time it takes to startup the device.

Nougat is also Vulkan-compatible and Google Daydream-ready, so when the corresponding VR devices are released later this year, it can hit the ground running.

Lastly, Nougat has a few user experience updates that are like the cherry on the sundae: not necessarily substantive, but they make the whole presentation a little nicer. There's 72 new characters in the emoji library, new quick settings controls for easy access to often-used tools like the flashlight, and multi-locale support.

It looks like Nexus phones already running the Nougat developer preview are getting access first, but that should soon expand to all recent Nexus owners (including Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player and Pixel C).

Source: Android blog

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