Android Nougat

Android Nougat

Android 7.1.2 adds pull-down notification fingerprint gesture to Nexus 5X

The Android 7.1.2 Nougat beta update is now rolling out over-the-air for the Google Pixel and Nexus 5X as part of Google’s Developer Preview program. The update is said to be relatively lightweight, with general optimizations like improved stability and security patches. However, the inclusion of a fingerprint gesture on the Nexus 5X might have some fans excited about it.

On the Google Pixel and Pixel XL released last year, you can swipe downward on the fingerprint sensor to reveal the notification shade. It’s a gesture that’s particularly useful for bigger devices (or people with small hands) where it’s hard to reach the top of the display when operating the device one-handed.

See also:

Nexus 6 and 9 won’t be updated to Android 7.1.2 Nougat

2 days ago

Despite availability on the Pixels, the functionality didn’t appear on the Nexus 5X and 6P when they were first upgraded to Android Nougat. With Android 7.1.2, you can now find the feature on the Nexus 5X in Settings > Moves, and it’s likely to appear on the Nexus 6P too when that starts to receive the Android 7.1.2 Developer Preview.

While it’s nice to see Google add this Pixel feature to the Nexus phones, I’m sure most users would prefer to get Google Assistant instead.

Yes, Xposed Framework for Nougat is still in the works

Xposed is a free, independently developed tool which lets Android users customize their OS. It makes use of self-contained software “modules” which can be installed to change specific aspects of a UI, without users needing to install a whole new ROM.

Xposed must be updated for compatibility with each new Android version and this can take more or less time depending on what’s changed from the previous OS. We’ve been waiting to learn more about its support for Android Nougat since its developer, who goes by the name rovo89, discussed it last November. Two days ago, he took to the XDA developers forums to shed some more light on the status of the project.

rovo89 said that, though it was in progress, he couldn’t say when the new Xposed version would be finished. He discussed a number of changes from Android Marshmallow to Nougat which has made updating Xposed more challenging than from Lollipop to Marshmallow — chiefly, the way Nougat handles app installations.

The install process for apps is now faster, which is good for Nougat users, however it means that rovo89 has to develop the Xposed framework to support this new process, which he said could take “hundreds of hours.”

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OEMs need to stop promising updates they can’t deliver

4 days ago

The developer said that he’d already experimented with ways to do this and said that, theoretically, it could be done in two weeks if it was being worked on 24 hours per day. But that’s not feasible and instead he said that in the last year he’s only had about 5 hours per week to work on “Xposed stuff.”

“You can do the math yourselves… There are just so many other (non-technical) things that I need or want to do. If you substract the time it took me to build the new installer version, move the repo to a new server and restore compatibility with the Nov 2016 security patches, that’s even less time for new stuff,” he said.

If we were to do the math ourselves, and assume the project does still require 336 hours of work, it would take rovo89 just over 67 weeks to complete, or until around the middle of May next year, if he was working on it at the maximum of five hours per week.

Of course, we don’t need to take it so literally, the crux of the matter is that it’s a big project for a developer to handle alone with other commitments — it’s no surprise it could take a while to finish.

In closing, rovo89 said: “So yes, I’m still working on Nougat support, whenever my free time allows it, but I don’t have any idea when it will be done. Once it’s done, you’ll know.”

You can read his full statement at the link and check out the current Xposed thread here.

HTC stops the HTC 10 Nougat rollout – again

The Android Nougat update for the HTC 10 in Europe has been stopped. Again. If you’re getting a little deja vu here, that’s probably because the same thing happened about two weeks ago. Apparently the bugs found and squashed in that first update hiccup weren’t all of them.

HTC’s product and services director for EMEA, Graham Wheeler, just announced the Nougat rollout in Europe has been “paused” once again while the company “looks into a technical issue”. Unfortunately, he doesn’t expect the HTC 10’s mainland Europe rollout to resume until some time next month.

Wheeler was quick to pre-empt his “No Nougat for mainland Europe” tweet with news that Nougat is now available in the UK, Russia, Turkey and the Middle East. With ZTE, Sony and others delaying or halting their Nougat updates recently too, we’re beginning to wonder if this is all just a coincidence or if there could possibly be a larger problem at hand.

Moto Z Play Nougat preview could be on its way soon

Lenovo could soon roll out an early build of Android Nougat to the Moto Z Play. The news arrives via Android Police, who received word that people involved in the Moto Z “Feedback Network” are being asked if they would like to take part in the trial program.

Lenovo is reportedly aiming to move “quickly” with regards to the update process and has already confirmed a March rollout for the final software (details on which you can read at the link below.) Those that wish to take part must have a good standing in the Moto Owners Forum also, but it’s unclear whether those who own the Verizon branded Moto Z Play Droid will have access to the same testing phase.

Meanwhile, it was recently confirmed that the higher spec’d Moto Z would receive Android Nougat in February.

See also:

Nougat update for unlocked Moto Z due in February, Moto Z Play in March

7 days ago

Owners of the unlocked Moto Z devices have been left disappointed by Lenovo’s recent rollout schedule, as the Verizon Moto Z variants, the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid, were upgraded to Android Nougat last November. Lenovo’s going to have to make sure it sticks to the announced timeline if it wants to avoid any further backlash.

Don’t freak out when the next OnePlus 3/3T betas don’t arrive

OnePlus has posted an announcement advising OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T owners that open betas will be paused for a month. But before you grab your pitchforks and flaming torches, rest easy: it’s Chinese New Year and the betas will resume in a month.

See also:

This is Android Nougat on the OnePlus 3

December 3, 2016

That said, there is still reason for a little pitchfork-wielding, with the January security patch from Google still MIA. Considering the imminent holiday period (starting January 28) it seems likely it will be skipped entirely in favor of the February patch next month. We’ve reached out to OnePlus for clarification on this point and will update this post with any news.

Security patches aside, there is still quite a lengthy laundry-list of bugs in the current Nougat builds for both devices, which you can get up to speed with here. The feedback page is also the best place to go if you’re experiencing any issues with the firmware you’re currently running on a OnePlus device – as with most bug trackers, the more folks reporting a particular bug the more likely it is to get addressed quickly.

Of course, if the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T aren’t getting any new builds in the next month, you can guarantee the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X won’t either. OnePlus has vowed to get updates out faster this year and to ship devices more quickly too, so take a deep breath, relax, and save that venom for later. Knowing OnePlus, they’ll give you reason enough to spit some soon enough.

Honor 8 Nougat update with EMUI 5.0 starts rolling out globally

The Honor 8, the phone that attempts to wrestle the title of “slipperiest fingerprint magnet” from the Galaxy S7, received the Nougat update in Japan last week. Now, the update is shipping internationally as well. Phone Arena reports several readers have submitted screenshots of the update, indicating a hefty 2.27 GB file size.

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2 weeks ago

According to Huawei Japan, the update includes not just the usual Android Nougat features you’d expect but also some additional stability, power management and security improvements. Furthermore, the update to EMUI 5.0 brings Huawei’s machine learning tech with it. It promises to deliver some of the Mate 9‘s “born fast, stay fast” characteristics to the Honor 8. That, and an app drawer option.

You can wait for the Nougat update to arrive via OTA or manually update your Honor 8 with the HiCare app. As with all update rollouts, it may take a while to arrive on your device. If you want to catch a sneak peek of what to expect from EMUI 5.0, take a look at our EMUI 5.0 review on the Mate 9.

Do you like the look of EMUI 5.0 or do you prefer the older Honor interface?

PSA: Galaxy S7 defaults to Full HD after Nougat update, here’s how to change it back

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge’s display resolution changes from QHD (1560 x 2560) to Full HD (1080 x 1920) following the installation of Android Nougat. The alteration comes as part of Samsung’s aim to give users more control over their device’s standby times — and as such can easily be switched back.

In Android Nougat, Samsung allows you to manually set the display resolution to one of three modes — the other being HD (720 x 1280) — so that you can prioritize visual fidelity or battery life. It’s no doubt going to be a popular addition for some people, especially those who spend little time viewing QHD media but are still affected by its toll on battery life. However, Samsung is reportedly enabling the mid-tier option (Full HD) by default.

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21 hours ago

If you want to change it back, go to your Settings menu and tap the heading named Display. On the Display page, you’ll find the aforementioned resolution options, but note that you’ll need to restart your device each time you change the setting.

The difference between viewing experience at QHD and Full HD has been debated. If you weren’t previously aware of the change, consider how your battery life and viewing experience differed following the update. If you noticed a reduction in visual quality, perhaps change it back to QHD. If you didn’t, but benefited from noticeably longer standby times, you might prefer to keep it as is.

ZTE expands its Nougat beta program to the Zmax Pro

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Last year ZTE launched a Nougat beta program for the Axon 7 to provide early access to Android 7.0 in exchange for bug reports and so on. To continue the good will into the new year, the company is now extending that beta to owners of the Zmax Pro.

See also:

Which Android manufacturer updates its phones the fastest?

5 hours ago

You’ll need to be a member of the Z-Community to register and if selected for the program you’ll be on the hook for capturing logs, submitting bug reports and completing surveys and other debugging tasks. It’s a relatively small price to pay though for early access to Nougat and your contributions will help iron things out for the wider community.

The beta program is only open for U.S. residents, but if that caveat doesn’t exclude you then feel free to hit the button below to sign up. Note that registering doesn’t guarantee admission and if you are chosen you’ll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before getting your grubby paws on ZTE’s Nougat secrets.

REGISTER FOR ZTE ZMAX PRO NOUGAT BETA

Are you rocking the Zmax Pro? Pumped for Nougat?

Which Android manufacturer updates its phones the fastest?

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Many of you will have visited Android Authority‘s Marshmallow and Nougat update trackers to see if and when your phone would get the latest Android updates. With all major Android OEMs now having updated at least one device to Android 7.0 or above, we can finally tally the results to see which Android OEM updated their phones the fastest in 2016.

Google dropped Nougat on August 22 and the LG V20 was the first device to arrive running Android 7.0 out of the box. The Pixel phones arrived with Android 7.1 at launch, but almost all other phones had to be updated to Nougat. So who was fastest and who stumbled?

See also:

Android Nougat review: New features explained

October 21, 2016

LG: 78 days

LG took just 78 days to update the LG G5 to Nougat, doing so in South Korea on November 8. Less than two weeks later and the Sprint LG G5 was also among the first U.S. carrier devices to get the Nougat update, arriving on November 20. Nougat arrived for the first Canadian G5, on the Rogers network, one month later on December 20.

LG also handled the Marshmallow update well, taking less than two months to get its first Marshmallow update out to the Sprint LG G4. Based on these two examples, if you want the best combo of OEM and carrier in 2017, at least where update speed is concerned, it’d be worth your while to consider the Sprint LG G6.

Which Android manufacturer updates its phones the fastest?

Motorola: 88 days

Motorola’s stock-like interface has never taken too long to update and the bump to Nougat was no exception. Verizon Moto Z and Moto Z Force owners were treated to Nougat on November 18, two days earlier than LG and taking just 88 days in total. Canadian Moto Z’s got updated two days later on November 20.

HTC: 95 days

HTC has made some pretty bold statements about updates in the past, some of which were probably more hassle than they were worth. But with the Nougat update, HTC just quietly delivered. Unlocked HTC 10 owners got the update on November 25 and One M9 owners a few days later on December 5. HTC got the Nougat update out 95 days after Google released it.

Sony: 99 days

Sony just managed to scrape in under the 100-day threshold when it got the Nougat update out for the Xperia X Performance on November 29. The Xperia XZ started getting the update the very next day and the Xperia X and X Compact received the update on December 16.

Which Android manufacturer updates its phones the fastest?

Xiaomi: 126 days

Almost an entire month later and Xiaomi dropped the Chinese version of the MIUI 8 ROM for the Mi 5 on December 26, 126 days after Google. Xiaomi joined the Nougat beta party in 2016, indicating the company is getting serious about rolling out timely and stable updates.

OnePlus: 131 days

OnePlus met its promised obligations for a 2016 Nougat update by a matter of hours, dropping a Nougat beta for the OnePlus 3T on the same day as the stable release started rolling for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. That day was December 31, the last of the year and 131 days after Google released Nougat. Both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T will now share an update cycle.

Samsung: 143 days

Samsung had a tough year and its update performance wasn’t much better. Taking 143 days to get the final version of Nougat out for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge – which only happened a couple of days ago on January 12 – Samsung clearly still has some work to do where update speed is concerned. Of course, Samsung also has a product portfolio far larger than everyone else on this list, but it also has exponentially larger resources at hand.

Huawei: sidelined

Huawei still hasn’t rolled out a final Android Nougat update to any of its devices, but it did launch the Mate 9 a couple of months ago with Nougat out of the box. That said, it’s likely to be the last of all OEMs to get the update out to the first of its phones. The first Honor device, the Honor 8, is scheduled to be updated on January 18.

Which Android manufacturer updates its phones the fastest?

Conclusions

Looking at the listed OEMs’ update response rate, it’s pretty clear that if timely updates are important to you then you should consider LG, Motorola, HTC and Sony first, all of which managed to get their first updates out in less than 100 days.

Of course, getting one update out is only part of the story. Not all Android fans own a company’s flagship phone, so looking at how well each OEM supports its older flagships, mid-rangers and entry-level devices is also important (we’ll do so when more Nougat updates roll out). You carrier will also affect how quickly your phone gets updated.

The quality of an update is also critical – we’ve all suffered through a rushed update job that causes more problems than it resolves. So being first doesn’t mean much if the update itself is rubbish. Then there’s security patches and bloatware to consider, and carrier additions and customer support can all affect satisfaction levels where update timelines are concerned. No one is perfect, but some are better than others.

Which company do you trust the most where updates are concerned? Does speed trump stability?

Android 7.1.1 update for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge officially coming in January

Samsung has confirmed the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is due in January. The confirmation comes via the Beta notices in the Galaxy Beta Program, although there’s still an element of doubt to the deadline: “We will do our best to distribute the official version in January as soon as possible”.

See also:

Android Nougat review: an Android version for Android fans

October 21, 2016

While this is clearly just Samsung hedging its bets in case something unforeseen comes up, “doing their best” and “as soon as possible” are not the kinds of phrasing you want to hear from your OEM when you’re waiting on a major new Android release. But as we can probably all agree, it’s much better to get a stable update than a patchy buggy one.

Android 7.1.1 update for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge officially coming in January

That said, the Galaxy Beta Program has been very popular and that level of popularity means a lot of pre-release bugs will have already been identified long before the official rollout. The Galaxy Beta Program will be officially wrapped up at midnight tonight and while Samsung will stop monitoring the “error report” and “suggestion” channels of the beta program, it will still pay attention to the “community” feed.

Did you participate in the Galaxy Beta Program? Are you happy to wait a little longer to get a stable update?