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Android Nougat vs Android 6.0 Marshmallow Walkthrough: What’s New



This detailed walk-through will go over everything that’s new in Google’s latest Android Nougat software update for smartphones and tablets. In the past six months, almost every major phone received updates to Nougat and owners will want to know about the changes.

There are well over 50 changes in Nougat, but only a few are visible. Many are behind the scenes tweaks that will make a big difference for Samsung, HTC and LG smartphone owners. Like split-screen multitasking, night mode, data saver and new emoji characters.

Read: How to Fix Bad Nexus Android Nougat Battery Life

Google originally debuted Android 7.0 Nougat on August 22nd, 2016 which is what most devices run today. Additionally, Android 7.1.1 was released on December 5th, followed by Android 7.1.2 in April with more improvements or bug fixes.


Android Nougat is a free software update for all smartphones and tablets that can support it. Google released an early beta preview of Android Nougat in March last year. The goal of the beta was to fast-track software updates, but it hasn’t helped as much as expected. Many are still waiting for it to arrive here in May of 2017, as the release of Android O nears. As an example, Samsung just released Android 7.0 for the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6.

Read: 100 Best Android Apps & Games

Currently, most Google Pixel or Nexus devices are enjoying Android 7.1.2 Nougat. Almost every other smartphone or tablet manufacturer is still working on the original Android 7.0 update for all devices. It’s still loaded with new features though, which users will want to take advantage of. Expect carriers and manufacturers to continue working hard on updates as 2017 continues. Then, we’ll start getting Android 7.1.2 later this year or in the summer.


What’s New in Android Nougat

Keep in mind that some of the changes detailed in our slideshow below are from Android 7.1 or Android 7.1.2 Nougat, and not all devices have the latest software. The Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and Nexus 10 will all stop at Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Meaning they will not receive Android 7.1.2 or the update to Android O later this year. Not to mention some manufacturers like Samsung and HTC hand-pick which features to add to their phones, and leave some out.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 10.34.53 AM

One of the most noteworthy new features is 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. This feature allows users to run two apps at the same time for improved multitasking.

Another huge addition to Nougat is Android Instant Apps, which is still slowly rolling out to all users. This enables Android to install small bits of an app (from a search result or web links) 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 the contents of the application once you’re finished.

Other changes include improved battery life with a more efficient “Doze” on-the-go mode. This puts apps in a low sleep state when they aren’t being used to save battery. You’ll also notice a completely revamped notifications and settings menu that’s smarter, more detailed and enhanced. Google added something called app icon shortcuts, where users can long-press app icons for quick access to select features. Like instantly launching the selfie front camera, instead of just the camera app.

There’s a new direct reply option from notification bar for all apps or messaging services, bunched notifications for a cleaner look, number blocking, call screening, improved Quick Setting tiles (and customization) and more. Again, there are tons of changes in Android 7.0 Nougat.


You can click any image below to instantly jump to that part of the slideshow to see what aspects are new. The older version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow will always be pictured on the left, while Android Nougat will be on the right or by itself.

We’ll update with more details as they become available. Expect big companies like Samsung or HTC to include most changes, although they may look slightly different. This is because manufacturers add their own skin to stock Android. Keep that in mind as you explore everything that’s new in Android 7.0 Nougat. Enjoy all it has to offer and drop us a comment below with any questions or concerns.

Multi-window Support

Multi-window Support

With Android N Google finally delivered multi-window support. This allows two apps to run on the screen simultaneously. This works on both tablets and smartphones, and appears to work across all apps. 

Multi-window support works by tapping the square recent apps menu, then sliding any app to the top. Users can instantly run two apps at once or resize each screen as they see fit. This feature brings improved multitasking to Android for business users. Another aspect of multi-window mode is picture-in-picture for Android TV. You can watch Netflix while browsing YouTube at the same time on Android TV devices.



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  2. cheeseTom

    03/13/2016 at 4:31 am

    Not really anything innovative there that hasn’t already been covered by other OS’s and products in existence elsewhere.
    I think Google are running out of ideas and just simply moving the UI around mostly to try and ‘wow’ people. Perhaps they should spend time sorting out their app store to better suit tablets and large screens rather than just pumping out new android versions for the sake of it.

    • Cory Gunther

      03/16/2016 at 1:10 pm

      Um…. what do you think split screen and improved multi-tasking is for.. tablets. It makes the experience so much better. I’m using Android N on the Pixel C and it’s actually very impressive. And if you saw other coverage, the multi-window mode is far more advanced than Samsung’s, and others.

      • Rdub

        08/04/2017 at 7:02 am

        Right? I’m looking forward to be able to run Rocket Player or Pandora alongside Google Maps in my car.

    • Gag

      08/22/2016 at 6:09 pm

      Smartphone OS changes come subtly. Just jump back two versions and you’ll notice them clear as day.

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  5. Jordan Tanner

    04/18/2016 at 8:57 pm

    Personally, the best part of Android N (and flying under the radar) is that they are stopping video, picture, and network push ad notifications. This means we’ll no longer have worry about those annoying pop-up adware features from mysterious apps like Flash Keyboard. Google getting that weak sauce out of here.

  6. Eric

    08/30/2016 at 11:49 am

    It’s a improved battery life version of the previous improved battery life version of the previous improved battery life version we must be on super dooper improved battery life by now.

  7. Jean Brown Thomason

    09/06/2016 at 5:55 am

    I tried android 6 and didn’t like it…I went back to android 5. If android 7 is like android 6, then I wi stay on andróid 5. Android 6 doesn’t let you move apps to the sd card…android 5 does.

    • Bruce Wayne

      05/02/2017 at 8:22 pm

      Android 6 and 7, if not under the storage settings, still allows you to actually adopt the SD card as if it were internal. I’ve got a 200gb SanDisk micros adopted uind add commands via pc. It’s simple and doesn’t require root. A little research and you’d have found that out pretty quickly as a how to was released the day Marshmallow was pushed to Samsung phones.

      • Phorne

        05/12/2017 at 12:48 pm

        Bruce Wayne, I’m confused! :-( I’m running Android 6 (Marshmallow) on LG Stylo 2 and it DOESN’T allow the SD Card as internal storage. I’ve just been on the phone with LG who had to explain to me why I had the option with my previous Stylo (Android 5) and not this one. I’m livid about that because I have a huge card and can’t use it for apps, only photos/media. What am I missing? Please tell me how it’s done. Thanks :-)

        • Cory Gunther

          05/15/2017 at 10:33 am

          Enable the SD card as adoptable storage when you first put it in. This will format (erase the card) but combine it with the internal storage so it all acts as one storage device, not two. If that makes sense.

  8. that guy

    10/01/2016 at 11:57 pm

    Android N Data Saver, 6/20: “[…] we want it towards the end of the month, and has auto-on options as well. Say around the 34-35th of each month if user are getting close to running out of data.”

    What kind of calendar are you using? Somebody with the technology capable of reaching a planet (or alternate universe) with 35 days each month probably isn’t worried about maxing their data plan out.

  9. Al Bundy

    11/01/2016 at 10:32 am

    Android 6.0 lets you move your apps to SD card. Go to apps-open app-click app memory and change storage

  10. bob

    11/25/2016 at 3:58 pm

    there is a typing error there is no 34th of the month… on data saving page

  11. Course2kud

    12/26/2016 at 12:28 pm

    I agree with Jordan N., getting rid of push ads is more important than all the other “improvements” combined.

  12. Anthony

    01/12/2017 at 2:10 am

    I hope that backround upgrade will respect data usage rules and maybe only download on wifi.

    Pointless putting in the changes to minimise other apps background usage and then adding a feature that will automatically download a 2GB or more image in the background while roaming.

  13. Gift

    01/12/2017 at 2:29 am

    “34th or 35th of each month”… Is that an intentional joke?

  14. Wolf

    02/14/2017 at 5:49 am

    My favorite ones are the GIF keyboard support & the finger gestures, with all these additions it’s getting less necessary to rely on 3rd party apps. Gotta love the Droid

  15. Rob

    02/19/2017 at 2:02 pm

    What about “Scrapbook”!, are they gonna fix the “Collection Problem”?z So that it will collect multiple items to be saved as a group where yu want them ?

  16. Charla Perkins

    03/10/2017 at 6:34 am

    I just want to know how to take a screenshot lol.

  17. Charla Perkins

    03/10/2017 at 6:35 am

    Motorola Maxx and turbo 2 are what I can’t figure it out on.

  18. Manoj Kumar Miriyala

    04/02/2017 at 2:43 am

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  19. Marlene

    05/03/2017 at 9:30 pm

    I do not like the Nougat. It has changed everything in my Marshmallow I liked. I can’t arrange my favorites in my phone list. It used to be squares next to each other, now it is a long list that I hate. Also, my camera is different. I liked how it used to be with the bars at the bottom I could slide, now It is more inconvenient to use!! Boo!!! There are a few other details that I do not like. I can’t list all of them here. Wish I could go back to my Marshmallow and get rid of Nougat!!!

  20. Thomas

    05/31/2017 at 10:32 am

    Should I not buy a phone because it doesn’t have nougat?

  21. Diwan US

    07/25/2017 at 3:20 am

    should I not buy a phone that doesn’t have nougat. will a lenovo be able to upgrade to a nougat version if downloaded?

  22. Alan

    11/17/2017 at 9:10 pm

    Nothing covered here relates to what I need to use. Functionality of the music and video players wouldn’t have hurt. The Tab A that I have can only play one video at a time where on my S5 I can Auto Play all the files in an album. Both are running Android 6.0.1 Might reject the update as it’s on my partners S7 and we didn’t like the change when that updated a few months ago.

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