Google has officially released Android 7.0 Nougat, though those on anything but the very latest smartphones and tablets may find themselves waiting in vain for an upgrade.
Following on from Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and continuing the dessert-themed naming convention, Android 7.0 builds on its predecessors with a selection of new features. Perhaps the most requested is multi-window support, allowing two applications to be run side-by-side simultaneously. Although other Android devices have boasted the same feature, this has been limited to a third-party hack baked in to various companies' own Android variants; with Nougat, the feature is native and officially supported.
Android 7.0 Nougat is also the first to support the Khronos Group's Vulkan low-level application programming interface (API), which Google claims will allow for improved visuals and performance in 3D games on 'supported devices
.' Gamers also get native virtual reality support in the form of Daydream, along with the ability to run various multimedia applications in a virtual theatre mode, in the Cardboard successor - another feature which requires hardware support to function.
Other changes include the addition of new languages, improved power saving functionality, tweaked notifications, and native Display Size function for altering the size of text and graphics in applications and system screens. Nougat also brings on-the-fly 'Seamless Updates,' which download and install in the background, along with file-level encryption as well as the existing filesystem-level encryption.
Sadly for those eager to get their hands on the new operating system, support is sorely restricted. The LG V20 is to be the first smartphone to launch with Android 7.0 Nougat pre-installed, with Google confirming that it has begun rolling out over-the-air updates for the Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, and Nexus Player devices. Those on older Nexus handsets and tablets will not be receiving Android 7.0 Nougat from Google, though ports are likely to appear for those who don't mind running third-party ROM images.
More information is available on the official launch page