Now that Google’s Android 7.1 Nougat update has arrived, current or future owners need to know what’s new. Users can learn everything in our Android 7 vs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow walkthrough below. This is a detailed comparison of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow vs Android 7.1.1 on a Nexus 6P and the older Nexus 6.
Here we will detail some of the new features and changes Google has made in Android 7.0 and now Android 7.1.1 Nougat. There are over 50 changes, but only a few are visual. Many of the improvements are behind the scenes but will make a big difference once it arrives for Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and many other phones.
Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow update was released in October 2015 after a long beta period, and Android 7.0 Nougat was released on August 22nd. It adds multiple impressive features and improves on the overall design. Additionally, Android 7.1.1 was released on December 5th with even more changes. Manufacturers are slowly delivering the latest software to a slew of phones here in early 2017.
Android 7.0 Nougat first debuted back on March 9th. Earlier than prior years in an effort to get it into users hands as fast as possible. As a result the company received more feedback, made additional changes, and were better prepared for future updates.
After months of fine-tuning the developer preview was released as a stable software update for all Nexus devices. Manufacturers are still busy developing the latest software. However, the LG G5 is getting Android 7.0 right now. Moto Z & G users have the latest release, and more are coming. HTC pushed out updates over the past 30 days, and the Galaxy S7 is up next. Samsung’s beta recently ended and select users have already received Nougat. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Nougat release is expected to arrive in January.
As promised, Google offered multiple “maintenance releases” or previews of Android 7.1.1 before officially releasing it. Now, it’s a fully featured and stable release that will eventually arrive for all compatible Android devices.
Now that many Nexus and Pixel phones are on Android 7.1.1, others are up next. Expect carriers and manufacturers to continue working hard on updates as 2017 continues. Then, we’ll start getting Android 7.0 or Android 7.1.1 on all other phones.
Android 7.0 or Android 7.1 Nougat is a free software update for all smartphones and tablets that can support it. Many will get updates from manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, LG and more. That said, it took most phones and tablets a long time to get Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We’re hoping N rolls out faster around the globe. All said and done, the beta tests are helping out and should prove valuable in speeding things up.
What’s New in Android 7.0 and 7.1 Nougat
Currently the Android 7.1 Nougat release is only available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player and the Pixel C tablet. As well as the Pixel phones. Three missing from that list are: the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013) and the Nexus 10. We’ve recently learned the Nexus 5 won’t officially get the update to Android 7.0 at all. At least not from Google.
Additionally, Android 7.1 is available on the Google Pixel, Nexus 5x, Nexus 6P and Pixel C. Other devices on Nougat are running Android 7.0 and not Google’s latest maintenance update. Some of the most noteworthy new features are split-screen multitasking and multi-window mode. This works great and supports all apps, not just select few like we see on Samsung or LG devices.
Another huge addition to N is Android Instant Apps. This will enable Android to install small bits of an app (say, from a search result or web link) and allow one-time instant app usage. No installing an app and starting over. Android just adds what it needs for that moment, uses the app, and you’re done. It discards it once finished.
Other changes include improved battery life again with a more efficient “Doze” on-the-go mode, seamless updates that happen behind the scenes (if enabled), a completely revamped notifications and settings menu that’s smarter, more detailed and enhanced. We also like the new round icons, space saver, and app icon shortcuts. Not to mention direct reply from notification bar for all apps, bunched notifications for a cleaner look, number blocking and call screening, improved Quick Setting tiles (and customization) and more. Meaning, there is a lot to see. We’ll be adding more to our list as we dig through each release.
You can click on any of the images below to instantly jump to that image in the slideshow and see how that part of the OS compares to previous versions. It’s worth noting the older Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow will always be on the left if needed. Android 7.0 Nougat or 7.1.1 is on the right or by itself. We’ll update with more details as they become available.