Android 7: release date, news and rumors
Every year we see a new version of Android, and 2016 should be no exception. Google is sure to announce Android N at some point in the next year and it’ll likely land on a variety of phones and tablets before the year is out (but probably not on as many as we’d like).
Even Google spokespeople have talked about the next version of the Android software, so it’s certain to be coming soon.
What isn’t clear about Android 7.0 is what it’s actually going to do for the world’s most used mobile operating system. It might not even be version 7.0 of the software – let’s not forget Google’s dabble with the number four with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1/2/3 Jelly Bean and 4.4 KitKat.
Let us know what you’d like to see in the Android N update in the comments section below. But before that, let’s take a look at what we already know about the software.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next version of Google’s mobile OS, Android 7.
- When is it out? Likely reveal in May, but won’t launch until October*
- What will it cost? Free
*when – and if – you get it depends on what phone/tablet you own though
Android 7 release date
There’s no official word on when Android N will be launching, so all we have is Google’s previous software activities.
Google officially announced Android Marshmallow at Google IO 2015 at the end of May last year – and going by the search giant’s track record the sensible money is on Android 7.0 showing up at Google IO 2016. That takes place May 18-20 2016.
Thing is, there tends to be several months inbetween the announcement and the new version of Android actually rolling out. That means it’s unlikely to arrive on devices before October – and even then it’ll probably only be the Nexus branded phones and tablets which get it.
For most, you’ll have to wait until your manufacturer and/or carrier sorts out their own version of the update and pushes it out – and that can take months.
What phones will get Android 7?
If you’ve got a recent flagship phone, you should be in luck. Most manufacturers try and push the software to phones and tablets that are less than two years old, but it may be quite a wait.
Each manufacturer can take time to tweak the updates. Take Android Marshmallow for example, some phones still don’t have the update even though it’s been out for nearly three whole months now.
If you want the latest software, it’s best to get a Nexus device as the newest version of Android will always be pushed to that first.
Android 7 news and rumors
Little is known about the Android N update so far. The only feature we know to be confirmed is split-screen multitasking support for tablets.
During a Reddit AMA on the Pixel C, Glen Murphy, director of Android and Chrome UX, confirmed that split-screen multitasking support is incoming. “We’re working hard on a range of enhancements for Android in this form factor,” he said.
Consumer hardware director at Google, Andrew Bowers, added: “We’re working on lots of things right now for N that, of course, we wish we had, you know, yesterday. But we’d spoil the surprise of N if we shared all of them. Split screen is in the works!”
Android Police also saw an early version of the Android N software that showed off a few changes including new notifications that take up the whole of the screen and come with three lines of text rather than just two.
There’s also a new Quick Settings line on the menu, which gives you easier access to the features such as Airplane Mode, battery saving mode and the torch on the back of your phone. Plus it looks like in Android 7 you’ll be able to create two pages of Quick Settings, so you can put lesser-used options onto a separate page.
Things may change before the actual release though, and the screenshots above are made by Android Police as they didn’t have access to official screenshots.
Apart from that, little is known about the Android 7 update. We’re deep trying to find out new details and we’ll share here when we know something new.
Android 7: what we want to see
As we’re feeling generous, here at techradar we got together to think of what we’d like to see the new software do. Here’s everything we would like to see come to Google’s OS in Android 7.
1. No more bloatware
Google has recently announced a change within the Android rule book. It means phone makers don’t have to include all the G branded apps as standard. Google Play Games, Google Play Books, Google+ and Google Newsstand now don’t need to be included on every phone you use.
Android N would be the perfect time to drop a few of the other less useful apps that Google doesn’t need to force on its owners. Do we all need Google Play Music waiting for us?
2. Faster updates
This is a hard one for Google, but when you look at how Android 6.0 Marshmallow has struggled to get onto phones it would be a worthwhile step. Google needs to streamline the process of getting the latest software onto Android devices.
How it does that, we’re not all that clear – but there must be a way it can make the process slightly simpler for OEM’s to take the latest software and squeeze it onto devices.
3. Real multi-tasking
This is one we’ve heard word of from Google already – but there’s no guarantee from the company that it’ll be launching on the next version of the software.
We’d like to see it come through as soon as possible though as putting this onto the Google Pixel C and upcoming tablets will make productivity tasks a lot easier.
4. Battery improvements
Android 6.0 Marshmallow had a big focus on improving the battery life of your phone with Doze, but the work isn’t done yet. We’d like to see that continue onto the next version of the software.
Google should be working on battery life until it gets to a standard where we can use our phones without having to worry about them dying after a day. Improvements to how the software runs should help the battery life and we’d love to see that come again in Android N.
5. Android Pay improvements
Android Pay is here now, but it’s not the best it can be yet. It’s not all over the world and we’d like to see Android N push the software to new markets. If you could use your phone to pay anywhere around the world, that’d be great.
Plus throwing in all your loyalty cards in a similar way to Apple’s Wallet would be a great step so we can really leave everything else at home.
6. Battery percentage
Surprisingly, you still can’t show off your battery percentage in the notification bar when using stock Android. If you’re able to do so on your phone, it’s just because the manufacturer has seen fit to add it in.
Pretty much all of them have now as well, so we’d like to see Android actually take on the feature itself. And this would be simple for Google to do.
7. A solid name
We want the sweet stuff – Android N needs a good name to make us excited every time it pops up in the over-the-air update box. Seeing something like Android Nutella pop up instead of the boring Android 7 title is always a good giggle.