Five things to look forward to

Now that we know what the "N" in Android N stands for, here are five improvements which should make it well worth the expected two-month-long wait. Of course if you have a Google Nexus 6 or later device, you can download the beta right away.

Apps, side by side

Android N supports using two apps side by side on the screen, much like what Samsung has been offering on its phones the past few years, which the Korean giant calls multi-window mode. Thus one can, for example, open a browser window, while keeping one's Twitter app open beside it.

Brings bills down

I've always loved the Opera browser's efforts at cutting down on the data we consume, and in recent times it has been emulated on some phones. Thankfully, Nougat has the Data Saver mode baked in and it would sure be helpful for all of us with runaway data usage. One can also decide on which apps can access data in the background and should go a long way in cutting down on phone bills. Also, one glance at the new settings menu will let us know the amount of data consumed.

Get notified and reply

Nougat comes with a revamped notification menu which lets one read and reply to messages from within the notifications. This comes in very handy if you're, like me, is habitually late in replying to messages. Also, one can, like in some handsets, specify which notifications to receive.

Dream on

Fans of virtual reality (VR) will love the fact that Daydream, Google's VR platform, comes bundled with the operating system. Of course, we're yet to see handsets supporting this feature yet, but I guess if you have VR glasses already, there's no need for a separate app. One hopes this won't lead to the operating system becoming bloated.

Settings and modes

The new version will also have a more intuitive settings menu, showing the state of the phone at one glance. The recent apps screen will let users jump back to the last app used with a double-tap. One can also use the "clear all" command to shut all open apps. Also, some apps which haven't been used a while, will be "hidden" from the recent apps screen. There have been subtle improvements to the Doze mode. In Nougat, Doze mode would kick in every time the screen switches off. Since, the apps would be in suspend mode, this should help lengthen a phone's battery life.

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