When Google’s Pixel, its new flagship phone, launched last fall, early adopters were treated to the latest version of Android: Nougat 7.1. Some analysts and critics were skeptical that Google would be able to nail both the hardware and software for their first in-house developed phone. However, time has proven Google’s engineers right. Reviews were glowing, and as manufacturers roll out the new OS to their own phones, it’s time to examine just why Nougat is the most mature edition of Android yet.
Android All Grown Up
The best aspect of the new OS is its stability. Mobile reviewers and tech experts are hailing this as Android finally reaching parity with iOS in terms of maturity. Developing for early versions of Android, especially pre-Ice Cream Sandwich, was an experience far removed from developing for iOS. No matter the level of quality assurance developers employed, it was difficult to isolate rare bugs and code exceptions. Google’s efforts to unify its operating system across multiple devices have paid off, and Nougat is the most polished version of Android yet.
Doze is Android’s built-in battery saver. In a nutshell, if a user isn’t engaging with their phone by leaving it stationary and unplugged, Android will divert system resources away from unnecessary processing and network activity. While the feature was introduced in 6.0 Marshmallow, some developers struggled to correctly integrate and account for this sleep mode. With Nougat, Google has fine-tuned Doze in order to make it easy to work with for developers. The end results are an easier API under the hood and tangible power savings for end users.
Android at Work
We’re only at the start of 2017, but we’ve already written twice about how important security is becoming for app developers. With Nougat, Google is seeking to cater to secure work environments. The enhanced support for certificate installation and validation, as well as support for secondary users on the same device, makes it clear Google wants their OS to be taken seriously for use in enterprise and government applications.
New Options for UI
Many Android skins from other manufacturers, including Samsung and Asus, have offered split screen functionality for a while. But Nougat marks the first time that Android is offering the feature natively. This alone is handy for the multitaskers among us. But for developers, it opens up a whole new avenue of apps optimized for split-screen use. As one of Android’s youngest features, don’t expect users to be immediately familiar with it. But the right app released at the right time could change that quickly.
Google’s commitment to the flat aesthetic has extended to its revamped notifications. Notifications are now smaller, but denser with information. They also stack by default, so apps like Gmail are able to fit more unread emails into a smaller on-screen area. For app developers, this means some smart optimizing will ensure your software’s push notifications won’t be pushed off the lock screen as easily.
There’s never been a better time to develop an app for Android devices. Google shows no signs of letting their mobile OS lag behind iOS. With a wide variety of supported devices and 1.4 billion users, Android has forcefully made its case to developers with this newest edition of its OS. When you work with veteran developers like Zco, you can trust our experts will always take advantage of the newest Android features when developing your app. Get in touch with us today, and find out how Zco’s Android development team of mobile app developers can assist with your app.