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Android 7.0 Nougat is finally here, but when will your phone get it?

Zach Epstein
August 23rd, 2016 at 2:40 PM
Android Nougat Release Date

Android 7.0 Nougat is here! It’s finally here! But, well, not really…

Last year, Google released Android 6.0 Marshmallow and as of Google’s latest Android version distribution numbers, it’s only installed on 15.2% of active Android devices. To quote a certain presidential candidate, sad! Despite the fact that Android update adoption continues to mosey along at a dreadfully slow pace, the company on Monday released yet another new version of Android.

If history has taught us anything — and it has — Android Nougat will become the most popular version of Android sometime in 2018. But don’t worry, because you likely won’t have to wait quite that long to get it on your Android smartphone.

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When Apple releases a new iOS software update, it’s released directly to end users. By controlling iPhone hardware and software Apple is able to bypass third parties (though third parties are obviously involved with testing). Android, of course, works differently in most cases.

When Google releases a new Android software update, it has to be tested by Google. And Android device makers. And wireless carriers. Compounding matters is the fact that while Apple only sells a few different iPhone models, Android vendors offer many different phone models at any given time. So, while Google did in fact release Android 7.0 Nougat to the public on Monday afternoon, the only people who can use it for the time being are owners of Google’s Nexus branded smartphones.

So, when are you going to get Android 7?

If you’re reading this right now, the odds are fairly good that you’re a savvy tech fan who owns a fairly recent flagship Android phone model as opposed to an older phone or a mid-range device. Newer flagships are always the first to get Android updates, and things trickle down from there. As for when the latest crop of smartphones is set to get Nougat, the bad news is that info is scarce for the time being. As both ZDNet and Wired report, however, we can learn a bit from the past.

So far only HTC has confirmed anything, having stated that the HTC 10, HTC One A9, HTC One M9 and unspecified other handsets will be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat later this year. That sounds a bit vague indeed, but there are only four months left in 2016 so the wait can’t be too long.

As for other smartphone vendors, you’re probably in fairly good shape if you have a newer Motorola smartphone because Moto is generally quick with updates. LG has a good track record as well. Samsung generally takes a bit longer, which is certainly understandable since it sells far more smartphone models and works with far more carrier partners than any other Android vendors out there. So, if you have a Samsung smartphone, odds are good that you’ll still be running an older Android version when you ring in the new year.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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