For those folks selling their old phones and looking to enjoy the new customization capabilities and design features on Android 7.0 Nougat.
Users owning Phones compatible with the latest edition of the Android OS might have already started exploiting the new security and efficiency features provided. Android 7.0 Nougat was officially released on the 22nd of August, 2016 for the Nexus and Pixel devices.
Although it does not change a lot on the surface, it encompasses a lot of updates on a layer just below, to incorporate higher efficiency and better user experience. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you use Android 7.0 Nougat to its maximum ability.
#1 – Use the Split-screen feature to multi-task efficiently
Ever wanted to watch a video on YouTube while sending a mail to your friend simultaneously? Unfortunately, YouTube pauses the video when pushed to the background. Such use-cases and many more have required the multi-window feature in Android for a long time now. Android Nougat has finally baked this UX-based feature into its system.
One can split the screen area into 2 applications, use them simultaneously and even adjust the area to allot the required display space to each app. The Split-screen (multi-window) feature also allows the users to open two different Chrome tabs at a given point of time. One can also drag text between the two apps for a quick and efficient operation.
To trigger this mode, just go into any app and then, press and hold on the Overview/ Recent Apps button (also known as the square button on the Navigation Bar). This will move the open app to the top and will open the most recently-used apps of which you can choose the app that you want to open in the lower half of the screen. You can also launch the Split-screen mode by swiping up on an already opened app. Fir this, you need to activate the mode in the System UI Tuner> Other.
To adjust the area, one can move the middle bar and control the screen space allotted to each app. If you swipe down completely, the app on the top stays and the bottom one is closed. If you swipe up, the bottom app takes the complete screen area up.
#2 – Use the Data Saver option to control your device’s battery and data usage
Nougat has several important features, one of which is the Data Saver option. It allows you to choose and customize the apps which have data access when the screen is off. One would now be able to allow the mailing and messaging apps like Whatsapp Messenger to display notifications while the screen is off and keep all other apps from consuming data and battery power from the device.
However, it is important to note that this option limits the apps from sending and receiving data in the background and doesn’t stop them from accessing your mobile data completely. One could use this when the data usage is close to hitting to the limit.
To activate and deactivate the Data Saver option, one could go to Settings> Data Usage> Data Saver. When turned on, it will open a list of apps that are allowed to use unrestricted data even in the background. A shortcut is also available in the Quick Settings area to access this option.
#3 – Manage your Notifications better with these tips and tricks in Nougat
Nougat allows a user to customize the notification settings for different apps. One can block them completely, show them silently, choose to show them or not on the lock screen or even allow the app to override DND (Do Not Disturb) setting. To do this, one simply needs to long-press on a notification from a specific app. This opens up a few options with radio buttons along with a ‘More Settings’ tab wherein all the required changes can be made.
Android 7.0 also introduces the concept of expandable notifications. All new notifications from the same app are nested together, as was the case in the previous Android versions. However, Nougat allows you to expand these clubbed notifications and check them without digging into the app. A few apps had this feature built into them. The Nougat update allows users to expand the convenience to all apps. You can do this by simply holding and dragging a specific notification group or by clicking on the tiny arrow button on the right hand side. Nougat also allows users to type replies to messages from the home screen directly. To do this, select the message from the notification tray and tap on ‘Reply’ to open a text box.
In addition to all the above features, one can also prioritize the notifications. One can do this by slightly swiping the notification to the right or left to display a ‘gear’ icon. Tap on the same and you will see an Importance bar with different Levels: 0 to 5, 5 being of the highest priority. You can choose the desired level for each app.
#4 – Customize your Quick settings drawer
The Quick Settings bar had last received a major revamp in Android 5.0 Lollipop. Nougat makes it better and easier to customize and use. Android 7.0 brings in the ‘Edit’ option on the drop down Settings drawer. When you click on edit, you can customize the Quick-tiles as per your usage of the same. If you don’t happen to use Bluetooth as much, you could remove it and add another Quick setting for your convenience. You can also arrange these tiles.
This feature also allows a user to select the 5 most important/ frequently used Settings options and place them in the top of the Quick settings bar. One can now avoid to pull down the complete Quick Settings drawer for the most important options, like switching the torch on or turning the Location settings off when needed.’
#5 – Bilingual users can now add a second language
If you have mastered a second language over time and need to use both often, Android Nougat allows you to do that by letting you add a second language. Once you add another language, Chrome will not offer to translate pages opened in that language. It is useful for developers who build their resources in other languages. They can now add their tools in the original language and select the nearest language as the second language to access their content.
To do this, simply open Settings > Languages & input > Language preferences. Then tap on ‘Add a Language’ and choose your second language from the list of available language options. Hereafter, one can change the language by clicking on the Globe icon on the on-screen keyboard or by long-pressing the space bar.
#6 – Use this tip to block numbers and people
Android 7.0 finally brings to you the ability to block contacts from who you don’t wish to receive any calls or messages. Since this feature has been long overdue, Android has worked on the same and released it in the latest version, 7.0. You can use this to block advertisements or spam callers or even marketing messages from market stores.
To add a number to the Blocked list, open the Dialer app. On the right hand top corner, tap on the Options tab and go to Settings > Call Blocking and click on ‘ADD A NUMBER’. Add the number you want to block and you shall not receive any notification from the same.
#7 – Optimize and manage your device’s battery performance
It is a known fact that Android needs to work on its battery and storage consumption abilities. Nougat is a move towards the same. For starters, Android 7.0 allows users to check the battery usage directly from the home screen. Simply tap on the battery icon in the drop-down menu on the home screen. You will now be able to see the battery drain along with an estimate of the time left before your battery drains out completely. This pop-up also contains a Battery Saver switch that limits background data and throttles the CPU to increase the immediate battery life.
In addition to this, one can go to the developer settings wherein you can stop some background services that might be consuming your battery power and RAM unnecessarily. To restart the background usage, one simply needs to restart the app or the device. Android’s last version, 6.0 Marshmallow had introduced the Doze feature (analogous to Standby in your PC) to limit the background usage.
However, Doze on the Go, in Android 7.0 boasts of better battery management abilities. To activate the same, navigate to the Settings > Battery > Menu button (the 3 dots button) > Battery Optimization. Tap the gray menu on the top and click on ‘All Apps’ to open a list of all your apps. You will also be able to read ‘Optimizing for battery use’ underneath them. You can select a particular app to remove it from the Standby Mode by choosing ‘Don’t Optimize’.
#8 – Convenient app-toggling allows quicker multi-tasking
To switch between opened apps until now, Android users would have to long press on the Recent Apps (square) button on the Navigation Bar. Android 7.0 has incorporated a feature where in users can now toggle between the 2 most recent apps by simply double clicking on the recent Apps soft key.
This can allow users to multi-task more efficiently. It would be useful when one has to check for certain details from an image and type them out quickly to make a note or send a message. Of course, one can now also use the Split-screen feature, but the quick toggling option can provide a short quick fix for tiny operations.
#9 – Clear all your open apps in a single tap
Ever wanted to swipe out all the opened app windows to close them at once instead of closing each app one at a time? Android 7.0 Nougat finally allows to do that.
One just needs to fire up the ‘Recent’ apps by clicking on the Overview soft key as before. Then scroll up to the top most app and you will see a ‘Clear All’ button. Tap on the same and all your apps will be removed from the ‘Recents’ tray at once.
#10 – Android 7.0 Nougat has a new Easter Egg game for you
Do you remember the Flappy Droid game offered by Google in Android 5.0 Lollipop? The good news is, Google has something new to offer this time. It is Google’s in-built version of the Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector game. What is different in this Easter Egg game is that you can turn it on and off.
To access the game, go to Settings > About Phone. Here tap on the Android version number for a few times until the Nougat logo appears. Tap on this multiple times before long-pressing on it and you will now be able to catch kittens by offering them food.