Android N was officially launched in March this year but until now it has been unknown what the N would stand for. Traditionally the names for the versions have followed a sweet theme like Android Lollipop and Android Marshmallow. Google have now finally officially announced that this latest version will be named Android Nougat. This is a choice that was widely expected although many speculated that Nutella or New York Cheesecake may have made it as an alternative.
When Android smartphone owners receive the upgrade this summer Android Nougat will bring new features like an improved notification shade and split-screen multitasking for the mobile OS. Features like Doze that came with Marshmallow last year will also be improved to reduce battery and memory consumption.
Improved performance will be noticeable with Android Nougat, there is expected to be a 75% increase in app speed as well as an introduction to the new Vulcan 3D API using fewer CPU resources. This will allow developers to squeeze far more graphical detail into apps and games.
For those excited about VR then Android Nougat will support Googles new VR platform Daydream for handsets that are Daydream ready.
New security features will include file-based encryption and media framework hardening. Seamless security updates is another feature. This means that new security updates will be downloaded in the background. Unfortunately, this is a feature that makes use of dual system images so available only to those running Android N out of the box.
It will be possible to upgrade to Android Nougat for owners of newer devices. Google will continue to support older models for three years following the device release or for 18 months after it is removed from the Play store, whichever is longer. This will mean that the Nexus 5x and Nexus 6p will be supported until October 2017 so they will get this upgrade and the probable Android O next year. Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 will just meet the required timeframe for support for this year's Android Nougat but will no longer be supported for next years upgrade.