In keeping with its established tradition of naming all Android versions after sugary treats, Google has finally made it official that the next version of Android will go by the codename Nougat.
In an interesting move, Google made the big reveal on social media with the company’s Android account teasing the unveiling on Twitter before announcing it on Snapchat and then Twitter, a first for Google and its leading mobile platform. Traditionally, it’s the latter accompanied by a YouTube video that have always gone first.
Google released a preview version of Android Nougat in March to developers to give us a taste of what to expect when the operating system finally goes live later in the year and prepare developers for the many changes that it brings.
Nougat is a sugary treat made from honey, nuts and egg white
Android N, as we have known it thus far, brings several feature improvements building on the last big update to Android from two years ago when Google unveiled Material Design with the release of Android L (Lollipop). Nougat will, among other features, mark the official arrival of split-screen multitasking (or full Windows depending on who you ask) to Android despite Google’s partners like Samsung having baked the feature in their devices for years in an unofficial capacity.
Google is also rumoured to be toying around with the idea of redesigning Android’s navigation buttons which currently consist of a square, circle and triangle with more colour and animations.
A major highlight of Android Nougat will be its native support for virtual reality since Google is providing the Daydream platform to its partners to provide standard VR hardware that plays nicely with its software. Chinese device makers Huawei and Xiaomi have already confirmed that they are working on Daydream-ready devices for release later in the year.
Previously, Google has trolled users with names like Namey McNameface. Many will be disappointed, however, that Nutella, the favourite, did not make the cut. Yes, Hiroshi Lockheimer, the head of Android at Google, was just playing mind games all along like we suspected.
Even though we know the name, we’re still in the dark when it comes to the actual version number. Given the numerous notable changes coming to Android with Nougat, we won’t be shocked if it turns out to be a version bump. All signs point to a version 7.0 in the waiting. We’ll know in due course or have to wait till Google is done working on its reported first solo smartphone.
Google has confirmed that Android Nougat will be version 7.0 in the announcement video posted on YouTube shortly after we went to press.