I’ve been playing with Android Nougat on both the LG G6 and the Samsung S8+ and will highlight some of my top new features. I’m not sure if the operating system itself, Android 7, deserves to be a brand new version, when most of these changes are just incremental. It’s not like Android has been given a complete overhaul (with a new look to match). However, the changes that I’ve chosen to highlight will make for a better user experience.
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1. FAST SWITCHING BETWEEN APPS
If you want to quickly switch between apps, like copy and paste text between an email and another app, or just leave Twitter briefly to look at something else you had open, this can be done by double tapping the ‘recent apps’ button. By default, it’s the left button on the S8 and right button on the G6. It’s quick! I love this feature, it’s just so convenient.
2. SPLIT SCREEN MODE
You can really take advantage of these bigger-by-default screens now by having two apps open at the same time. Like reading an article and still keeping your Twitter feed open at the same time. Should be handy if you’re following an event live, too. Just long-press the recent apps button and you will see apps with a little split screen icon to indicate it is supported in this mode. I love using this in landscape mode.
3. CUSTOM LOCKSCREEN WALLPAPERS
This feels like it should have been a feature years ago, but you can now set any photo as your lock-screen image. You can choose to set any image for your lock screen, home-screen, or both, like what iOS has been doing for years.
4. ADJUST NOTIFICATIONS APP-BY-APP
You know how you hate receiving notifications from one particular app (Whatsapp, cough), you can now adjust these directly from the notifications panel, very simply. When you are in the notifications screen, just slide the alert from the app slightly left to right until you see a little gear icon. Tap it, and choose to show notifications silently; block all; lock screen; priority etc. These options vary depending on what handset you have (they are different on the S8 and G6).
5. DATA SAVER
This setting (“Data Saver”) is under mobile data, and you need to switch it on. What this does is restrict activity and syncing in the background of certain apps. So while you may get a push notification for the app, you still have to go into it to sync to see what it is (example email, social networks). Restricting activity is different to disabling push notifications. I would restrict Google Play Store (and related services) first.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org