When it comes to releasing timely software updates to their devices, right from the monthly security patches to major bumps like newer versions of Android, there is no Android OEM you can count on to deliver on time. Forget what they all say when a new version of Android drops and some of them promise heaven in 90 or so days. It just never happens and the statistics speak for themselves.
As such, it is not surprising that there’s been no rush in getting Android Nougat pushed to some older flagship devices as many would’ve expected. LG just started seeding the Nougat update to the G5, its other flagship smartphone after the V20 that was the first device in the world to arrive running Android 7.0. And Samsung is only telling us right now how close they are to releasing Nougat to the Galaxy S7 by inviting a few users to test drive the firmware.
The latest Huawei Mate 9 which goes on sale soon in most markets, arrives with Android 7.0 Nougat. The device it succeeds, the Mate 8, is still stuck on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. That is about to change, we know. How soon? We don’t know.
However, since the internet is, well, the internet, the adventurous amongst us shouldn’t have to wait any longer. Just as was the case with the leaked Nougat test firmware for the P9, you can head over to XDA Developers right now and get your Android Nougat fix if you have a compatible Huawei Mate 8 lying around. Someone managed to snatch the update unofficially from Huawei’s servers and has been generous enough to share their exploits with the rest of the world. There’s even a YouTube video if you need help making the jump from Android 6.0 to Android 7.0.
The Nougat update on the Mate 8 brings with it the latest features that Huawei has added to its Emotion User Interface which is now in its fifth version among other Nougat-specific updates like support for the Vulkan API. This should be something that Mate 8 users should look forward to as EMUI 5.0 is a big breath of fresh air from the EMUI 4 that runs on the Mate 8 which I bemoaned in my review back in March. Support for Daydream, Google’s mobile virtual reality platform, doesn’t seem likely either.