Android 7.0 Nougat tipped for August release as internal testing build leaks

It's looking more and more likely that Android 7.0 will hit stable release status in the coming month, with the usually reliable Evan Blass (a.k.a. @evleaks) claiming that Nougat will land "next month" along with the Aug. 5 Android security patch.

That's not surprising given Google's regular rollout of monthly Nougat developer previews over the past five months. The most recent preview hit on July 18, so mid-to-late August is a decent bet for a stable Nougat release on supported Nexus devices, as well as an open-source code drop to AOSP (the Android Open Source Project.)

The new Android version should arrive comfortably ahead of the usual release window.

A new Android version is usually closely followed by new Nexus phones. There's no word on when the rumored HTC-built Nexuses might land, but given that Nougat is running ahead of Google's previous yearly schedule, it's probably safe to expect them comfortably before the normal October launch window.

As we welcome new Nexus phones to the mix, it could be curtains for the Nexus 5, as Blass also says the three-year-old phone won't be getting an official update to Nougat.

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The Nexus 5 will continue to receive Android's monthly security updates — for now.

That's in line with the official Google update advisory for Nexus devices, which puts the last guaranteed update for the LG-built device at October 2015. (The 2013 Nexus 7, which received Marshmallow despite having a "last update" date of July 2015, is almost certain to remain on Android 6.0.1 as well.)

The Nexus 5 will continue to receive security updates for the time being, in line with Google's promise of monthly patches for three years from availability, or 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device.

Even though the N5 may be reaching the end of its life, the open nature of Nexus devices — and internal similarities with the officially supported Nexus 6 — should mean there'll be plenty of unofficial Nougat ROMs for the phone.

Nougat release channel leak

Whoops! Someone's Nexus 6P was mistakenly sent a Googlers-only testing build.

In other Nougat news, there are further signs of an impending stable release, as one Nexus 6P owner on Reddit appears to have inadvertently received an over-the-air update to an internal Google testing build. Poster Brian Moyano received the 49MB OTA when attempting to revert back to the Marshmallow from the Nougat developer preview; instead of going back to Android 6.0.1, it pushed him to 7.0, build NRD90M.

The "R" in that build number means it's on the "release" branch (as opposed to P for preview), suggesting it's almost ready for prime time. Moyano says the "Android Beta Program" widget no longer displays in the quick settings area, and that the phone shows the Aug. 5 security patch level. Besides that, no major changes have been reported — not surprising since the fifth developer preview was supposed to be "near final" anyway.

Despite the best efforts of commenters, neither the build itself nor the OTA to get there have been pulled from the phone for wider release. So we'll have to wait a little longer to get our hands on updated Nougat bits.

Bottom line: We're getting closer to the final release of Android 7.0, and that means new Nexus phones probably aren't far behind. So strap in — the usually quiet month of August is about to get a whole lot busier.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.