Second Opinion

Second Opinion is a reviews show about anything and everything under the sun. If we can experience it, we can review it.

Android 7.0 Nougat Review

Episode #8The Fringe #397

Ian R Buck, Ian Decker, and Ryan Rampersad talk about the latest version of Android, Nougat!

Changes/new stuff

  • Notifications
    • Biggest change you will notice.
    • No longer cards with space between them. Now they are full width of the screen, and have a tiny border between them.
    • If you have multiple notifications from one app, they will be grouped together in an expandable notification. Then each of them can be expanded as well to reveal the actions you can perform on them.
      • I find it hard to distinguish between notifications, especially when I have a bunch of Gmail notifications waiting for me.
      • To indicate that you can expand notifications, they have a little downward-facing chevron. This also means that dragging down is not the only way to expand; you can tap on the chevron as well. I wish there was a setting to get rid of the chevron, because I accidentally tap on it a lot when trying to open a notification.
    • For messaging apps, you can now reply to almost any of them directly from the notification.
    • If you have System UI Tuner enabled, you can get really granular control over how each app’s notifications behave. All the way from notifications disabled to always peeking.
  • Quick settings
    • Customizable! Paginated!
    • The first five settings become toggles that show up at the top of the notifications for quick access.
    • Way easier to know what behavior it will have now - if it is in quick settings, it will open the setting. If it is at the top of the notifications, it will toggle the setting.
    • Other apps can provide buttons that are available in Quick Settings.
  • Recents list
    • Double tap recents button to Alt+Tab!
    • When recents list pops up, the second-most-recent app takes up most of the space, which makes sense.
    • Recents list automatically gets rid of apps you haven’t opened in a long time. I don’t miss them.
    • Google search bar is gone. I didn’t even notice.
  • Multi-window
    • Great to finally have it!
    • Really hope the Shield tablet gets this soon, it would be really useful.
    • There’s a ways to go on the app developer side, many apps don’t support it very well.
  • Picture-in-picture (Android TV)
    • Still haven’t encountered any apps that support it.
  • Proper built-in file explorer
    • Works through downloads app.
    • If you want to get outside of downloads folder, you have to go through Settings -> Storage -> Explore.
  • Customize display size
    • Large screens can show more information, or if you have trouble seeing you can make text bigger.
  • Emoji changes
    • Support for skin tones.
    • Less abstract faces.
      • Unfortunate, now they’re not gender neutral.
    • Faces all face the camera.
  • Updates
    • Devices that ship with Nougat: two system partitions, one gets updated while the other is running.
    • All devices: “optimizing app 25 of 116” is gone now.
  • Battery
    • Mobile Doze restricts background stuff when you haven’t had the screen on for a while, regardless of how much the device has been moving.
      • I have noticed delayed notifications. I’ll suddenly get four new favorite tweets a few seconds after I turn on the screen.
      • Pocket Casts got killed a couple of times when it was paused by Zombies, Run! for a couple of minutes.
    • Security
      • File based encryption allows the device to boot to the lock screen before it has to ask for a passcode.
      • If you update to 7, it is off by default. Converting to it requires you to wipe the phone. It is labeled as an alpha.
    • Daydream
      • Coming soon?