Google's Android 7.0 Nougat is now being rolled out to selected devices, earlier than had been expected.
The company usually releases new versions of Android alongside the launch of new Nexus hardware, but it's done things a little differently this year.
Google announced the release on Monday, saying that Android 7.0 had started rolling out to Nexus devices following a lengthy public beta testing programme.
There are no official dates for the rollout, but Google has said that updates will be pushed out over the "coming weeks".
Supported devices include the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, along with the General Mobile 4G, a little-known Android One handset. 2013's Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 tablet won't be supported by Android 7.0, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise given that neither device was included in Google's beta testing scheme.
Those with non-Nexus devices will, naturally, have to wait a little longer for the update to arrive. However, Samsung has promised that the Galaxy Note 7 will get Nougat within "two to three months".
If you've been using the Nougat beta, the full rollout won't have many surprises in store. You'll find Google's much-lauded split-screen mode, 72 new emoji, enhanced notifications and improved gaming features thanks to support for the Vulkan API.
Android 7.0 Nougat also brings seamless updates and enhanced security through the use of file-based encryption, alongside a system-wide Night Mode and a Data Saver mode that restricts how much 3G or 4G data you plough through.
"With the release of Nougat, Android’s security features can now be applied to work with apps instead of the device itself, making it easier to use an Android phone or tablet while still maintaining a secure device," Google said in a blog post.
"This also saves on the time and hassle of continuously entering lengthy, complex passcodes to access devices."
Google said that we'll soon see devices that run Android 7.0 out of the box, including the already-teased LG V20. There's also talk that Nokia is gearing up to launch a duo of Nougat-powered smartphones later this year.
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