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What you need to know about Google's new Android software

Google has announced plans to released the latest version of its Android software. Credit: Reuters

Google has announced that the new version of its Android software will be released to customers in the "coming weeks".

Android Nougat was previewed by Google earlier this year, and includes a raft of new features.

Google begins rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices today, but before it is released to the wider public, here is what to expect:

  • Expanded emoji

Nougat features an expanded emoji library of more than 1,500 of the animated icons, including 72 new designs.

  • Multi-window

Users will be able to run two apps side-by-side on their phone or tablet, with the two windows both resizable by moving the divider between the two, enabling better productivity, Google says.

Google begins rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices today. Credit: PA Wire
  • Quick switch

The updated operating system enables users to jump instantly between their two most recently used apps by double-tapping the overview button - the square icon on the left of the three navigation buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen.

  • Doze

This battery-saving feature uses sensors built into an Android phone to detect when the device is not being used, and cuts power consumption.

The updated version has been extended so Doze can still identify when a phone is idle even when it is moving around in a user's bag or pocket.

  • File-based encryption

This new feature encrypts and protects files or folders individually as opposed to being encrypted as a whole.

Nougat's other new feature, Direct Boot, takes advantage of this feature to speed up the unlock time of a phone by starting to launch some apps securely even before an unlock code is entered.