Android 7.0 Nougat is now out in the wild and is available for many devices, meaning you can update to it without jumping through too many hoops.
For many phones, you'll find Android 7 is ready and waiting for your device. While some devices such as the Google Pixel, Pixel XL Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and some Android One devices can now also download Android O software as well.
If your phone or tablet isn't among the devices ready for Android 7, keep an eye on our Android Nougat release date article for the latest information about when you're likely to get the update. Generally speaking, the newer and more high-profile your device is, the sooner you're likely to get a taste of Nougat.
Google's new smartphones, the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, launched with Android 7.0 Nougat, and it's also now available for the LG G5, Moto Z and Moto Z Force and the budget-friendly Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus devices. Sony's Xperia X and Xperia X Compact phones have also got Android 7.0 Nougat, and a new version, Android 7.1.1 has been released with some bug fixes and updates.
However you do it Android Nougat is worth getting, as it adds a load of new features, like multi-window mode, which lets you run two apps side-by-side, the ability to directly reply to notifications without leaving the screen you're on, and a new quick settings menu.
That's alongside improvements to existing Android features, such as improved battery efficiency with Doze Mode and general performance improvements.
And those are just some of the highlights – so without further ado, here's how to download Android Nougat.
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What to do before you download and install Android 7.0 Nougat
First of all, you might want to consider backing up your device. This is the finished, stable release of Android Nougat, but there's always a chance things can go wrong during the upgrade process, and having a backup will enable you to revert to your previous version of Android quickly and easily.
Ensure that your device's built-in backup feature is enabled. To do this go to 'Settings' > 'Backup & reset' and make sure both 'Backup my data' and 'Automatic restore' are checked.
You can also back up your photos by plugging your Android device into a PC via USB, and then view the phone in Windows or Mac OS X, browse to the DCIM folder and copy the folder or its contents over.
To make sure absolutely everything is backed up, check out our comprehensive guide to backing up your Android device.
Checking for the update
Once you're ready to go, you'll need to make sure your phone or tablet is too. The Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Google Pixel C and Android One devices will be the first things to get Android Nougat, but not all of them will be updated on day one.
The update is set to occur in stages over the coming weeks, and some carriers will receive the update later than others. Google hasn't been more specific than that, so for now if you have one of the devices above you'll just need to keep an eye out.
It will be obvious when the update is available for your device, as Nougat will be pushed to devices as an over the air software update, so you should get a notification when it's available.
However, you can also manually check for the update by heading to the 'Settings' screen, then scrolling to the bottom, hitting 'About phone' and selecting 'System updates' or 'Software updates'.
How to force the Android 7.0 Nougat update
Even if you have a recent Nexus device you may not see the Android 7.0 Nougat update. However, you can force the update by signing up to the Android Beta program.
Although Android 7.0 Nougat is now finalised, by signing up to the Beta program you will get priority for the Android 7.0 Nougat upgrade, allowing you to download it right not.
To sign up go to the Android Beta website and select "Enrol device." You'll need to have a newer Google Nexus. Once enrolled you should see an update waiting for you on your device.
Downloading Android Nougat
So you've either had a notification or manually checked and found that Android Nougat is available for your device? Congratulations! Now you just need to download and install it. Simply follow the onscreen prompts to do this, but first check that you are connected to a Wi-Fi network (as the update could wreck havoc with your data allowance), and that you have a decent amount of battery left.
In fact, it would be wise to plug your phone or tablet in while it's updating, as you don't want it to die part way through. You should also choose a time when you don't need urgent access to your device, as you may be unable to use it for a while.
Now you simply need to play the waiting game and before long, your device will be running a new and tasty version of Android.
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