Now it is hell bent to deliver Nougat to its excellent LG G5. The USA gets it first and Asia Pacific in the weeks to come.
Samsung has taken a slightly different approach launching a Beta test program for Nougat for its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The test is limited to the US, South Korea, and China and runs until 30 December after which it is expected Nougat will be rolled out to all its current capable devices. Pundits are suggesting by the end of Q1, 2017 if the telcos can move fast enough. Samsung’s new Nougat compatible User Interface is called “Grace.”
Nougat on Nexus devices is still some time away. Google has released Android 7.1 Developer Preview. Google states, “It gives you everything you need to test your app on the new platform or extend it with new features like app shortcuts and image keyboard support. It includes an updated SDK and tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported devices.” In essence, it is a beta for Nexus devices to identify any device-specific issues.
Huawei has announced that its P9 and Mate 8 will see Nougat over the coming months. It is less likely they will bother with a Beta test.
HTC has said Nougat will come to the HTC 10, One A9 and One M9. Given it is building the Pixel we suspect it will jump to version 7.1 in the next quarter.
Moto has said its entire Z line would get it plus the Moto G, and the Nexus 6. A large line-up and given its ambitions to regain market leadership we will see it sooner rather than later.
Sony has stated that the Xperia X Performance and XZ will initially get Nougat followed by the X and X Compact, Z5 series, Z3+ and Z4 tablets and finally Xperia XA and Ultra. There are a lot of phones in this lineup, and we suspect roll out will be over a few months early next year.
Google, however, have drawn a line in the sand insisting that phones using Nougat meet minimum specifications. While most of the models above meet those minimums some may not.
Forgetting any new functionality the key reason to get to Nougat is the increased security and Google’s promise to roll out security updates monthly – as Apple and Microsoft do.
Google has made it clear that its commitment to Pixel (and by inference other flagship makers) is Android version updates for at least two years from when the device became available and Security updates are guaranteed for three years.