Android Nougat is here, and it’s looking pretty tasty. We’ve been told about the benefits to end users – but what are some of the most exciting features for developers to dive into? We’ve got five that we think you’ll love.
1. Data Saver
If your app is a hungry, hungry data devourer then you could be losing users as you burn through their allowance of cellular data. Android 7’s new data saver feature can help with that. It throttles background data usage, and signals to foreground apps to use less data. Worried that will make your app less useful? Don’t worry – users can ‘whitelist’ applications to consume their full data desires.
It’s the big flagship feature of Android 7 – it’s the ability to run two apps on the screen at once. As phones keep getting bigger (and more and more people opt for Android tablets over an iPad) having the option to run two apps alongside each other makes a lot more sense.
What does this mean for developers? Well, first, you’ll want to tweak your app to make sure it’s multi-window ready. But what’s even more exciting is the potential for drag and drop functionality between apps, dragging text and images from one pane to another. Ever miss being able to just drag files to attach them to an email like on a desktop? With Android N, that’s coming to mobile – and devs should consider updating accordingly.
3. Vulkan API
Nougat brings a new option to Android game developers in the form of the Vulkan graphics API. No longer restricted to just OpenGL ES, developers will find that Vulkan provides them with a more direct control over hardware – which should lead to improved game performance.
Vulkan can also be used across OSes, including Windows and the SteamOS (Valve is a big backer). By adopting Vulkan, Google has really opened up the possibility for high-performance games to make it onto Android.
4. Just In Time Compiler
Android 7 has added a JIT (Just In Time) compiler, which will work to constantly improve the performance of Android Apps as they run. The performance of your app will improve – but the device won’t consume too much memory. Say goodbye to freezes and non-responsive devices, and hello to faster installation and updates! This means users installing more and more apps, which means more downloads for you!
5. Notification Enhancements
Android 7 changes the way your notifications work on your device. Rather than just popping up at the top of your device, notifications in Nougat will have the option for a direct reply without opening the app, will be bundled together with related notifications, and can even be viewed as a ‘heads-up’ notification displayed to the user when the device is active. These heads-up notifications are also customizable by app developers – so better start getting creative! How will this option affect your app’s UX and UI?
There’s plenty more…
This are just some of the features of Android 7 we’re most excited about – there’s plenty more to explore! So dive right in to Android development, and start building for Nougat today!