After weeks of teasing, Google on Thursday finally announced the Nougat (a popular nut bread) as the official name of the Android v7.0 mobile OS. With the announcement, focus now shifts on which of the lucky Android devices will be eligible for the new sugar treat flavoured OS.
Android Nougat is expected to first get released to the Nexus series devices in August or early September, as Google has confirmed the roll-out of the new OS in the third quarter of the year.
If we focus on Lenovo-owned Motorola Moto series brand, we think Motorola will get its hand on to Nougat's source code from Google in August or September. The company will take some time to make the software compatible with their devices and release it before any rival brands.
Before we get down to the details and the list of eligible devices expected to receive the new Nougat OS, we will take a little detour to explain Motorola's business strategy for phones in terms of software development.
Before getting acquired by the Chinese company, Motorola was owned by Google between 2012 and early 2014. During this period, the search engine giant had a huge impact on the phone company. They even unveiled the first generation Moto X series phone with nifty feature — a voice-control command option. Another interesting thing about the phone was that it had a clean interface with no bloat-wares, making it stand out among rival Android phone brands, which usually come with heavily customised interface cluttered with unnecessary apps. Also, Motorola was quick to release new software updates after conducting a soak test for a few weeks.
Motorola and other OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have a treaty with Google to provide firmware update to their respective devices for a minimum of 18 months. One of the advantages of owning a Moto series branded device is that some times, Motorola extends software service by six months for select models [more on that little later].
This approach apparently helped Motorola make a huge comeback in smartphone business in 2013 across key markets of America, Europe and Asia, including India.
Even after getting acquired from Lenovo in 2014, Motorola still maintains the same software policy and based on the update release patterns, we have come up with a list of Moto series phones, which are more likely to receive the Nougat firmware.
Moto G series:
So far, Motorola has released four iterations of Moto G series. Among them, only Moto G (3rd gen) and the recently-released fourth generation-based Moto G4, G4 Plus and G4 Play (exclusive to the U.S) are most certain to get the new Android Nougat update.
On the other hand, the Moto G (2nd gen) owners have to stay put with Android Marshmallow, as the handset falls outside the ambit of the obligatory 18 months software service warranty period. Moto G (2nd gen), despite getting launched in 2013, received Android M, which was officially released in October 2015. So the device owners are lucky enough to enjoy the Marshmallow.
Coming back to Android Nougat update, Moto G (3rd gen) and Moto G4 series are expected to get the update around November or at the end of December.
Moto Z series:
In America, Moto Z series will retail exclusively on Verizon Wireless as Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid edition for limited time. After that, it will be made available at all carrier network shops with a generic Moto Z moniker.
Since the Moto Z (and Z Droid edition) is Motorola's 2016 flagship phone series, they will be the first to get Android Nougat and if history is any indication, Moto Z owners will get to enjoy the new update as early as October or by the end of November.
Moto X series:
Going by the previous release patterns, Motorola Moto X Force, X Play and X Style will get the new Android Nougat by the end of December or early January 2017. Even Verizon exclusive Moto Droid 2015 series phones too are expected to receive the update around the same time.
There is also a possibility that Motorola may deploy the Android v7.0 to the Moto X (2nd gen), but the likelihood of that seems low.
Moto E series:
Last year, Motorola E (2nd gen), despite being 2015 series phone, was declined Android M by the company. But this did not go down well with fans. They took to social media platforms to criticise the company and this apparently made Motorola reverse the decision. It agreed to roll out the Marshmallow to Moto E (2nd gen), but only to the LTE model. However, the 3G variant did not receive the update, due to hardware limitations.
So Moto E (2nd gen) is out of the race to get the new update. Rumours on the Internet say that Motorola is planning to unveil Moto E (3rd gen) with Android M. If it does turn true, the company will definitely release Android N, probably in the first quarter of 2017, to avoid negative publicity.
Watch this space for more updates.