Shocking: Many Powerful Devices Won’t Be Getting Android Nougat Update



Short Bytes: The new Android Nougat update won’t be pushed to various devices packing the Snapdragon 800 and 801 SoC. These chips don’t support OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan APIs which would be used for improved graphics rendering on Android Nougat devices. Hence, their makers are reluctant to include them in the official upgrade list.

A few days ago, Google added the seventh flavor to its confectionary menu, named Nougat. But before most users could taste it, the news has been floating around that some Snapdragon device owners won’t be able to try the new dessert.

The newest Android Nougat 7.0 is incompatible with some devices running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800/801. This includes popular and devices like Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One M8, Xiaomi Mi4, OnePlus One, OnePlus X, and the list goes on. Also, Google’s own Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 have been kicked out of the update list. Recently, Sony released the list of devices which would be receiving the Nougat update excluded Xperia Z3, another Snapdragon 801-powered smartphone.

There are some technical hurdles coming in the update path. The Snapdragon 800/801 chips don’t support OpenGL ES 3.1 or Vulkan which are “supposed” to be a part of the required specifications for Android N. OpenGL is a cross-platform API used to put 2D and 3D graphics on your screen. Vulkan also does the same but is more modern than OpenGL. That could be a considerable reason that there is no official Android N support for these devices. But that also puts a question mark on the fact that the Xperia Z3 and Nexus 5 were able to handle Nougat’s preview builds.

Another point to be considered, it is not all about getting the Nougat on the plate. Google’s CTS for android devices mandates that the device should be able to run every app designed for its platform to be eligible to get the new Android version upgrade. But that won’t be possible for the 800/801 chips because it is hard to find the above-mentioned APIs enlisted on the specifications chart. This would end up lacking full support for the apps present on the Google Play store.

The Snapdragon 800/801 SoCs use the Adreno 330 GPU. Qualcomm currently has no plans to push an update for the Adreno 3xx chips which could enable support for Vulkan or OpenGL ES 3.1.

The XDA developer community has come up with a ray of hope. A developer named Santhosh M has been able to unofficially port Android Nougat to Nexus 5. However, this is not something that would be much beneficial to the normal users. The camera and Bluetooth are currently not functional. But we expect a more stable release from XDA in the coming days. And hopefully, for every such device abandoned by its maker.

Here’s the complete list of devices that’ll be getting Android Nougat update.

— via Android Authority

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