Great news and yet another reason to pick up a Nexus phone. The Nexus team at Google has announced that Wi-Fi Assistant is coming to all Nexus phones in the coming weeks. Wi-Fi Assistant to this point has been exclusive to Project Fi users which allows their devices to automatically connect to Google approved Wi-Fi hotspots securely and without any user intervention. It is a huge benefit to Fi frankly as it saves on data plan usage. It will connect your phone to Wi-Fi without you even knowing it. Now all Nexus owners will benefit from the feature.
While Android devices have quick and easy access to Google search, having alternatives on your phone is never a bad thing. The Bing search app from Microsoft has been available for Android for a while now and it, like many of the Microsoft apps for Android, continues to grow and mature nicely. The latest update to the search app brings a music discovery feature that allows you to find the song you hear in your local coffee shop or other location. Like other apps, you simply turn on the app, hit the Music button and have Bing listen to the song. Within a few seconds it will return the result, giving you the song title and artist. You can then tap on that information at the bottom of the screen and get more details about the song, artist and albums that are available from that artist. On most songs you will also get the lyrics for the song.
With Android Nougat out and already hitting Nexus devices, the big question everyone now wants an answer for is when their particular manufacture will be rolling it out to their devices. For their part, Sony has published a list of no less than nine Xperia devices that will see the Nougat update, which will great to see, will leave some disappointed. Missing from the list is the super popular Xperia Z3 as well as the entire Xperia C, E and M lineup. To be fair, the Z3 missing from the list isn’t that shocking given that it was released in September 2014. That’s right at the cusp of when a manufacture would consider an update. For the newer C, E and M lineups however, that is a big disappointment.
With demand high and supply limited, Samsung is having to ramp up production of the Galaxy Note 7. Reuters reports that the Korean company has had higher demand than they expected for the Note 7 and that they will be sorting out how and where to increase production to meet the needs.
“As pre-order results for the Galaxy Note 7 have far exceeded our estimates, its release date in some markets has been adjusted,” Samsung told Reuters in a statement without commenting on where launch delays could occur.
Samsung has made similar comments in the past, most notably on last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge, and one could argue that they creating a false urgency in the market. While there is probably a little bit of truth to it, the numbers don’t lie. Samsung is expected to sell upwards of 15 million Galaxy Note 7’s this year and delays in launching have already happened with further “adjustments” to the launch schedule made to try to keep up with demand.
The challenge, of course, is that Samsung risks losing buyers outright to competitor products so the faster they can ramp up that production, the better. Samsung’s stock was down 2% yesterday after this news broke.
The latest update to Skype is rolling out in the Play Store and with it comes bots. The messaging, text and video call app now has a wide selection of automated services that can be accessed to play games, give you information and help you with tasks throughout your day. There are dozens of bots to use within Skype and they are accesses from the floating menu at the bottom of the display, the same you use every day for IMs, video calls and phone calls. Now when you open up the menu you will see the option to chat with a bot. This new feature is in build 188.8.131.528 for those keeping score at home and if you have Skype installed, you should get the OTA update over the course of the next day or two.
Earlier this morning the official release of Android Nougat landed and now the Factory Images are available for those who want to manually update their Nexus devices. The images are available for all of the supported Nexus devices as well as the Pixel C and for those of you who don’t want to wait for the OTA update to hit your device, you can manually update your device to the latest version of Android.
You can read my full review of Nougat to get all the details on what it brings to your devices.
For those of us that love Android, yesterday a pretty rock solid day. Android Nougat was released and devices that were a part of the beta program have already started seeing the final NRD90M build hit their devices (you can read my review to get all the details on Nougat). One tidbit of news in all of the hubbub of the release was the announcement of regular maintenance releases for Nougat. It was easy to miss as, as far as I am aware, it was only posted in the Android Developer Blog announcing the release. That blog, unless you are developer, isn’t on everyone’s reading list understandably. In that post from Dave Burke, he pointed out a small but important piece of information about Nougat.
We’re moving Nougat into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters. In fact, we’ve already started work on the first Nougat maintenance release, that will bring continued refinements and polish, and we’re planning to bring that to you this fall as a developer preview. Stay tuned!
This new maintenance schedule is independent of the monthly security updates. This new maintenance schedule is all about bringing features, refinements and fixes to the platform. It is also, in my opinion, a shot across the bow of manufactures who drag their feet in getting the .0 releases out. Android is going to march forward and Google, more or less, is telling OEMs to get with the program.
Microsoft and Lenovo have entered into an agreement which will see the Redmond company’s apps appear on the Beijing based company’s future Android phones. The announcement by the companies will bring Microsoft Office apps, OneDrive and Skype to select Lenovo devices going forward. Which specific devices is not laid out in the press release.
“Microsoft’s thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo’s premium devices,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice president OEM Division, Microsoft. “The marriage of Microsoft’s apps and Lenovo’s Android-based devices will enable customers around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more.”
For Lenovo, they are gaining access to some of Microsoft’s patents and IP (Intellectual Property) to be cross-licensed in Motorola and Lenovo devices.
Update – OTA for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 9 and Pixel C are now rolling out to devices.
Wow! That was fast! It dropped on the world an hour ago and now the Android Nougat OTA updates are already starting to roll out. Multiple people, including me, have been notified that the update is available on their devices. In my case, I’ve received the update notification on my Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P but I have not received it yet on my Nexus 9 tablet. I suspect that Google is slow rolling things at the minute.
As I put in my review of Nougat, this is an evolution of Android and not necessarily a revolutionary update. However, there are a lot of nice improvements to the Notification Shade, power management, emergency information and a lot more. It is a good, solid update for sure.
Android Nougat represents the 7th major version of Android, Google’s mobile Operating System. While terms like evolution are appropriate for this release, I think a different word is more appropriate.
While there are some new features that make Nougat a worthy update, by-and-large it is safe to say that this version of Android is refining many of the features that made their appearance in Marshmallow. That, in my opinion, is a very good thing. Improvements in this release of Android come in various forms from UI updates to under-the-hood changes that make it perhaps the most refined version of the Operating System to date. My point is, if you are looking for massive changes between Marshmallow and Nougat, you may be disappointed. There are changes, to be sure, but not polar-shifting, orbit altering changes. More subtle changes… or refinements.
Here is my review.
After five months in beta and 5 Developer Previews, Android Nougat has been released with factory images available right now and OTAs beginning soon. Nougat represents version 7.0 of Android OS and is more of a refinement of what we find in Marshmallow than revolutionary. Still, having used Nougat on my Nexus 6P for the past several months, it has some very nice improvements and updates. The official announcement came on the Google for Work blog while the Official Android Blog page for the announcement went live a bit later.
Google has not released the Factory Images of Nougat at this point but I suspect those are just a few minutes or an hour away. Once they are available, for those of you who want it absolutely right now, you can manually flash your device. For those who want to wait, the OTAs should be beginning in short order, likely by the end of this week. For those of you in the Beta program, you should start seeing the OTA update to the final build today.
Microsoft continues to listen to their users when it comes to their apps and the latest update to Arrow Launcher is solid proof. The update to Redmond’s Android launcher app brings fully customizable home pages to the launcher, a feature that many users of the app have requested. Frankly, this was one of the key reasons I never stuck with Arrow long term as I couldn’t customize it the way I wanted like I can with the Google Now Launcher. Now you can easily and freely setup the home page on the launcher the way you want with the apps you want.