Google has been saying that the Android 7.0 Nougat is for you and me. Of course, that is expected of the tech giant since the mobile platform is one of its many cash cows. It’s been highly anticipated since Marshmallow began rolling out to phones and tablets the past few weeks. Unlike in the past years, Google would announce the new dessert during the last quarter of each year. But for 2016, we knew as early as the Google I/O that it is working on the Android N. In fact, Developer Previews have been out even before the official name was announced at the beginning of summer.
We know rollout will be slow as in the past years. The Android team hasn’t even finished working on the Marshmallow updates so it may take a while before your mobile phone or tablet gets the chunky update.
To review, the Android Nougat brings new emojis, quick switching between apps, multi-window view, Vulkan API, Virtual Reality mode with Daydream, Doze mode, Custom Quick Settings, and Bundled Notifications. With Android 7.0, you can also take advantage of the Data Saver, Notification Controls, and Display Size management tools.
We were expecting that this year’s Nexus phones aka HTC Sailfish and Marlin aka the Pixel and Pixel C would be the first Android 7.0 Nougat device but apparently, the LG V20 beat the yet-to-be-revealed Google phones. Other devices—phones and tablets—are getting the software update although not everyone will do so officially.
Since the Android N Developer Previews were released, we’ve been getting small bites of the Nougat. We’ve also tried a few versions before Google has started to release the official build. Several smartphones from major OEMs are already running Android 7.0 Nougat. Others are still waiting for OTA notifications while some are still on beta mode. There are also the brave ones who are trying unofficial builds and doing things at their own risk.
We listed down dozens of mobile devices we know are already or soon-to-be powered by the Android Nougat OS. On top of the list are those who have the official builds–meaning they are official releases from the Android developers, manufacturers, or retailers.
The LG V20 is the first ever Android 7.0 Nougat device to be released in the market. The upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL will also be powered by the mobile OS. The Pixel C is obviously part of the list because it’s directly a Google product. Earlier this year, we were able to run system images of Android N and test apps on a discounted unit. It’s not yet available commercially but at least we know that the Pixel C can handle Nougat.
We saw Android Nougat images available for the Nexus Nexus 9, Pixel C, and Nexus Player so we can expect Android 7.0 for these devices will be ready anytime soon. A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that Nougat updates for the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE are coming soon. That’s after we learned that Telus is preparing to roll out the update for the Nexus 6P and 5X.
Just last month, T-Mobile announced the first batch of devices that will officially receive Nougat. These are the latest premium flagship phones from the top OEMs: Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Note 7, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, S7, S7 Edge, HTC 10, and HTC One M9.
We noted before that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were being tested with Android Nougat. Once the two are upgraded officially, they will finally get the Grace UX we’ve been talking about. Motorola’s Moto Z and Moto G4 are also getting the official Nougat build sometime in Q4.
Several phones and tablets are getting Android 7.0 Nougat but most of them are still in beta. Sony’s mobile division may be facing challenges these days but it’s been busy and generous with releasing software updates. Before the official builds roll out, Sony announced and actually began some beta programs like those for the Xperia X Performance.
The company even revealed a Nougat roadmap with the following models getting a taste of the Nougat: Sony Xperia XZ, X Performance, Xperia X, X Compact, Xperia XA, XA Ultra, Xperia Z5 family, Xperia Z3+, Sony Xperia Z3, and the Xperia Z4 tablet. That’s about most of the latest Xperia phones from the Japanese OEM.
Unofficial ROMs are nothing new. In the Android world, they are expected. Actually, they are something to be excited about because you’ll never know what device can be made more powerful. Most of the ROMs may be limited but it’s possible that even old devices can run the new Android Nougat. Some of the ROMs we’ve featured include the unofficial Nougat ROM for the Nexus 5. There’s the Nougat-based CM14 booting on an ancient HTC HD2 and the new OnePlus 3 plus the first-gen Android One phones.