Google today started pushing out 'Nougat' version 7.0 of its Android mobile operating system.
Several new features are included in Nougat, including multi-window support for multitasking two apps or activities at the same time; bundled notifications; and direct replies to notifications.
Android 7.0 also implements number blocking through a framework application programming interface that lets providers maintain a blocked-numbers list, as well as improvements to call screening.
A new virtual reality mode is included, along with support for the high-performance Vulkan 3D graphics API that supplements the existing OpenGL ES 3.2 graphics API.
Under the hood improvements include the Project Svelte optimisations that put apps on a RAM diet when they run in the background, and the SurfaceView and improved Doze system mode for longer battery life.
App performance on Android Nougat has been improved with the Just In Time compiler, which code profiles to the ART runtime, complementing the present Ahead of Time compiler in the operating system.
Google has also added new security features, including key attestation that uses hardware-backed digital credentials to protect sensitive information in apps. The network security config allows apps to customise their behaviour over encrypted TLS connections without code modifications using conventional, error-prone APIs such as the X509TrustManager.
Newer Google Nexus devices will get the Nougat update over the air starting today.
The first non-Google smartphone to ship with Nougat out of the box will be the LG V20, expected to be released next month.
Sony has been working with Google to allow users with the Xperia Z3 device to take part in the Nougat developer preview program.