How to master... Android Nougat

All you need to know to make the most out of Google's latest and greatest mobile OS

Mmm, chewy, gooey nougat. We’ll have a bite of that, please. 

Oh, Android 7.1 Nougat doesn't actually come with a bag of the sweet stuff? That's a shame. Our dentist will be happy at least.

Groan-worthy Dad jokes aside, we’ve spent hours digging into Google's latest and greatest mobile OS to find all the tasty bits you won’t find from just prodding at it as you flick between WhatsApp and Instagram.

Let’s skip the boring wipe-on, wipe-off learning phase and get you on the fast track to becoming an Android 7.1 Nougat master:

THE BASICS...

CATCH A CAT, OR 20

Every version of Android features an easter egg game, and 7.1’s is a feline version of Pokémon Go. You drop a cat treat in the Notification Bar's toggle area - the bit with all the buttons that let you toggle Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc on and off -  and collect different cat breeds lured in by the fish, chicken and treats you leave on this virtual plate.

To kick-start Cruella De Vile’ing those kitties, go to the About Phone part of Settings then tap repeatedly on the Android Version entry. A few taps then a long tap on the Android N logo that appears will magic-up the virtual plate in the toggle zone.

PUT GAMES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Almost no-one customises their Android handset as much as they should, which is a shame, as it's one of the main advantages GoolePhones have over their Apple rivals.

The main offender are those five app icons Android 7.1 puts at the bottom of its home screen. Most people keep these exactly as they are, even if they barely touch half of them.

Our top tip is to put a folder of whatever games you're currently play in place of one of them. The dialler and SMS app are the ultimate expendables for the true modern mobile user, mad as that sounds. Just drag game icons onto each other to make a folder, then long-press and drag it onto this bar.

You can of course do the same for travel apps like Citymapper, Google Maps and train apps, group up productivity apps - anything you like, really.

QUICK-DRAW YOUR CAMERA

At least twice a week we miss a picture of a badass urban fox or an Instagram-bait squirrel posing on a bench because we’re fumbling around with our phone. Android 7.1’s solution is to let you quickly double-tap the power button to launch the camera.

You can switch this gesture on and off in Settings > Moves. We’ve been road-testing it, and while that damn squirrel is still a bit too quick for us, we’re on that guy’s tail.

BANISH ANNOYING NOTIFICATIONS

Notifications are the lifeblood of a phone, but after installing a bunch of apps they can become a nightmare. No-one wants to read that Captain Flibble’s Gem Farm misses them. Especially mid-way through a work meeting.

Android 7.1 makes it easier than ever to block nuisance apps. Just long-press on any notification as it arrives and you can make them silent, or block them altogether. Accidentally block an app? Just go to Notifications in Settings to fix app notifications.

CONJURE AN INSTANT PLAYLIST

Android 7.1 laughs in the face of the iPhone’s 3D Touch gestures, adding the same features without any special hardware. From the apps menu, a slightly longer-than-normal press on many app icons brings up a special quick-fire menu.

Long-press the Play Music icon, for example, and you can start a random “I’m Feeling Lucky” playlist with just a single tap. It’s a great way to avoid awkward small-talk with your housemates when all you’re trying to do is make a cup of tea.

GET HELP, STAT

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