Back in March, Google began the hype train for Android N by releasing the first of five developer previews. It was pretty exciting, as any new version of Android typically is. Today, Google officially announced the name for Android N, as Android Nougat. They also debuted the new statue for Android Nougat at their headquarters in Mountain View, CA; and announced that it will officially be Android 7.0 Nougat. This name was in the list of the most popular names for this new version of Android, but to be honest, they missed a prime opportunity here. For starters, if you look around the internet at the posts about Android Nougat, many people don’t even know what a “Nougat” is, while the rest think it’s pretty boring. For those that don’t know what a Nougat is, it’s a “family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites and sometimes candied fruit” according to Wikipedia. Not the most popular tasty treat, although it does sound pretty tasty.
Many were hoping that Google would go with Nutella, and put together a partnership with Nutella like they did with Nestle for KitKat back in 2013. Which that name was a complete surprise, and was done at the last minute. Since “Key Lime Pie” was still prominent throughout the OS when it was released (this was before Google started doing developer previews). But Google decided not to strike a partnership with Nutella – there are also jokes going around that Nutella sounds to close to Satya Nadella who is the CEO of competitor, Microsoft. Nutella would have also been a much more exciting name than Nougat. It’s also something that is very popular, and without a doubt, most people have had before, or at least heard of. When it comes to Nougat, there’s more people that haven’t heard of it, than those that have.
Another option would have been Neapolitan, which would have actually been a perfect name for this new version of Android. Since Android has been using the whole “Be Together. Not the Same” slogan in the past couple of years, what tasty treat exemplifies that slogan? That would be Neapolitan. Neapolitan is in reference to ice cream and has a block of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. All together, but not the same. It would have been perfect, and definitely much more exciting than Nougat. And likely much more tasty than Nougat. Neapolitan was also a popular choice among Android users for the next version of Android, but Google decided that it wasn’t meant to be, unfortunately. It would have made for a pretty interesting statue too.
Many believe that Android N is going to be a pretty boring update, especially after seeing what is coming to Android with the first four developer previews – keep in mind we may still see some surprises with the final version of Android Nougat in the next few months. And the name matches that boring update. While there are a few pretty cool features coming in Android Nougat, they are all things that could have been added in a .1 update to Android. The biggest feature coming in Android Nougat is definitely the multi window feature, something that Android has needed for quite some time. It’s a feature that many OEMs have added into their overlays that are on their devices – and are proprietary, so they don’t work with every app that is available on Android. The rest of the changes are either under-the-hood changes or minor UI changes – like the changes to the notification shade, lock screen and settings app. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad update, it’s still an update that many users will definitely be excited to get on their device – even though many won’t see these changes due to the skins that many manufacturers use, like Touchwiz, Optimus UI, and Sense.
Based on the information that Google has made public about Android N or Android Nougat, we should be seeing the final release in August or September – with the fifth and final developer preview in about a week or two, and Google did mention that it would be available in Q3. The final release also means that we’ll be seeing new Nexus devices, as we always have Nexus devices released with new versions of Android so that Google has something to show off the software on, which the specs recently leaked out for both devices. Showing us that we aren’t too far away from these two devices being made official. Of course, they will be the first devices running Android Nougat and will launch with the new version of Android. Additionally, Android Nougat will be heading to all of the Nexus devices that currently have the Developer Preview – which includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus 9 LTE, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and the General Mobile 4G (Android One device). It may also come to the Sony Xperia Z3, but remember that Google didn’t release the preview for this device, Sony did, even though it is listed on the Android N Developer Preview website. And where the Xperia Z3 is almost two years old now (released in the fall of 2014), it may not get the update to Android Nougat. HTC has also confirmed that the HTC 10, HTC One A9, and HTC One M9 will be updated. As for other smartphones, we haven’t had any confirmation from manufacturers just yet on what will get updated, but it’s likely that most flagship smartphones from 2015 and 2016 will be updated.
The Android Nougat statue is also pretty boring, but it does look like Google is going in a new direction when it comes to these statues now. Where Lollipop and Marshmallow featured the Android mascot holding a Lollipop or Marshmallow in his hand, and now with Nougat, they are surrounding him. With KitKat, they built the Android mascot to look like a KitKat bar, Honeycomb was a brick of Honeycomb with the Android mascot hanging out of it. With Cupcake and Donut just being a large Cupcake or Donut. It’s a rather simple statue, and it appears that is what Google was going for here with Nougat. And that won’t stop Android users from wanting to visit Building 51 when they are in the Bay Area. As the lawn has become pretty popular and crowded over there, with this being the 12th version of Android – the 12th version that got its own name, remember Jelly Bean was the name for Android 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.
Android Nougat may not be the name that we all wanted, but it’s the name we all got. We’ll have to live with referring to this new version of Android as Android 7.0 Nougat for the next year or so. It’s not the end of the world, really, but there’s many other choices that would have been better for Google to use here. But then again, many people won’t even see Android Nougat within the next year, unless they are using a Nexus or a HTC device (since HTC has been updating their devices fairly quickly, to the latest version of Android, lately). Heck most people are still on either Android 4.4 KitKat (31% as of June 2016) or Android 5.0 Lollipop (35% as of June 2016) both of which are over 2 years old already.