Android 7.0 Nougat: 11 tips and tricks

From speedier replies, settings and app switching to more emoji, hidden settings and a weird cat collecting game

Googles latest version of Android is already rolling out to the companys Nexus and Pixel devices and will begin launching on new smartphones starting with the new LG V20.

If youre still waiting, Google is pushing Nougat to those on the Android beta programme first, so if you must have it right now, join the beta quickly to get it updated to the final version of Android 7.0.

Here are all the features to look forward to and things to tweak.

1. Quick reply

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Quick replies are now available for almost any messaging app on Android. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Theres no need to actually go to into a messaging app anymore, as basically everything gets quick reply through the new modifications made to Androids notifications.

You can reply to messages, see other replies and conduct your business without ever leaving the app you were already in. Its great.

2. Longer battery life

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Doze helps prolong battery life whenever the phone is locked. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

You dont have to do anything for the new version of Doze to give you better battery life apart from update your phone. Doze reduces the impact that apps not actively running in the foreground have on battery life by working out which ones need to receive updates and use the processor, and which dont.

Using Marshmallow, that only happened when the phone was not moving around, but now it works even if the phone is in your pocket. It should give you anywhere between 10% and 25% longer battery life, depending on how long you leave the phone in standby.

3. Multitasking without having to hack around

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If you really must continue watching that video while checking Twitter, now you can, using Googles native multitasking support. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

A few Android phones, such as Samsungs Galaxy Note series, have had side-by-side app multitasking before, but now its baked into Android and works with almost every app out of the box.

Simply hold the overview button on the right side of the navigation bar when in an app to choose another to place beside it or above it.

4. Quick app switch

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The square button in the bottom right is your app-switching friend. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Almost better than multitasking double tap the overview button to jump to the last used app. Switching from one app to the other has never been faster.

5. More emoji

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More emoji, because there never can be enough emoji, apparently. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Thanks to an update to Unicode 9, 72 new emoji have joined the party, bringing the total to over 1,500. Youll never be without the appropriate pictogram to get your point across, if you can find it in the massive list, that is.

Now you can:

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Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

6. Edit Quick settings

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The top five quick settings panes can be changed to modify whats always displayed at the top of the notification shade. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Quick settings are better than ever. Now you get a top line of settings without opening the rest. That line contains the first five of the full quick settings panel that can now be edited. Just tap the edit button on the bottom right of the quick settings panel and move them around by holding and dragging.

7. System UI tuner

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Unlock the System UI tuner by holding down the cog at the top of the quick setting panel. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

If you want more customisations of the icons on the status bar, the do not disturb settings or a swipe-up gesture for split-screen multitasking, the hidden System UI tuner is your friend.

To activate it, hold the cog at the top of the quick settings panel for around 3-5 seconds. A menu right at the bottom of the main settings list called System UI Tuner will then appear for you to play around with.

8. Power notification controls

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Power notifications provides granular control over what apps can and cant notify about and when. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Inside the System UI tuner menu theres a setting for even more granular control over notifications called power notification controls.

There are various levels of notification access, which can prevent notifications from showing when an app is full screen but still make a sound or vibrate, for instance, instead of outright blocking them. Activating power notification settings in the System UI tuner adds a new slider to notification settings that allows you to pick how important they are, instead of the app automatically picking for you.

9. Data saver

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Data saver helps stop unintentional data use, but may reduce or block notifications in the background. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

If you have a tight or no mobile data budget, the new built-in data saver function can help. The setting hidden under Data usage stops apps from sending or receiving data when in the background and limits an apps data usage when being actively used.

You an set a whitelist to allow free data access for certain apps, and theres a quick toggle available too. The feature isnt the same as the data saver function of Chrome, which must be activated separately.

10. Change the DPI and font size

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/23/android-7-nougat-tips-tricks-replies-settings-app-emoji