Five Android Nougat problems and how to deal with them

Google Pixel XL
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Android 7.0 Nougat has been available since last August, but we’re already on Android 7.1 thanks to Google’s new Pixel smartphones. As usual, both the 7.0 and 7.1 update are only running on a small number of devices.

We’re seeing signs of more and more devices gearing up to get the update already, such as a slew of 2016 Motorola and HTC devices. Android 7.0 brings more customization to the mobile operating system — the notification drawer is more functional, notifications are more useful than ever, and you can now do more work with split-screen mode.

Android 7.1 adds onto the list with a few more features, such as App Shortcuts, Seamless Updates, and support for Daydream VR. While these updates had beta programs where many bugs were squashed, there are still a handful of issues afflicting some devices. We’ve scoured the internet to find many lingering issues, some of which only affect certain devices.

We’ll continue to add more as we find them, but here are some problems on Android Nougat and potential solutions to fix them.

Annoyance: Ambient Display not working

This problem is more for Google Pixel owners — the Ambient Display does not show up when notifications come through. The Pixel and Pixel XL do not have a “wake” function that shows the Ambient Display notifications when you pick up your phone — it only turns on when you get a notification. But some people aren’t seeing anything at all.

Potential solutions: 

  • A factory reset seems to do the trick for some people. Head to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone.
  • Try the Support team, some people received replacement units as a solution. Head to Settings and swipe left to the Support tab. You should be able to get a replacement unit.
  • If you’re simply looking for a way to have Ambient Display turn on when you pick up your phone, download Ambi-Turner. It triggers the display whenever you take it out of your pocket or lift it up from a desk. Nexus devices with Android 7.1.1 Nougat have a “Lift to Wake” gesture in the Moves section in Settings. We imagine this feature will come to Pixel owners soon.

Problem: Bluetooth connection

Several Nexus and Pixel device owners are having trouble connecting to their car’s Bluetooth, but everyone’s issue isn’t the same. Some devices connect but then disconnect within minutes, whereas others can connect and stream audio, but the device later disconnects and calls do not go through.

Potential solutions: 

  • An over-the-air update was pushed alongside the November security update for Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL devices, and it mentioned improvements to Bluetooth connectivity. It’s unclear if this has fixed the issue, but a Pixel Community manager more recently said the team is still investigating the issue.
  • It’s unclear whether the issue has been resolved for Nexus devices, but if you haven’t yet, try a factory reset by heading to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone. It seems to work for a some people.
  • If a factory reset didn’t work, try going to Settings > More > Network settings reset > Reset settings. Try connecting to your vehicle’s Bluetooth after to see if the issue has been resolved.

Problem: Random reboots and bootloops

This problem has been attributed to Nexus 5X devices only, and Google says it’s a hardware issue (thanks to LG, the manufacturer.) Some devices are rebooting at random moments, and others are seeing their devices constantly booting into recovery mode, rather than the standard mode. It’s an issue that has been attributed to previous LG devices.

Potential solutions: 

  • There is no known workaround unfortunately. Google says to contact the place where you purchased the device and look at warranty or repair options. You most likely will have to replace your device.

Problem: Purple camera

This issue seems to only affect Pixel and Pixel XL customers, particularly those in Europe. When the camera launches, it often freezes with pink and purple vertical lines, rendering it impossible to snap a picture with. Google is looking into the issue. You should contact support and look into getting a replacement device as many have already, but it may not be a hardware problem.

Potential solutions: 

  • Try using a third-party camera app, some suggest Open Camera, which seems to work as an alternative. Some people say the issue comes back after some time with a third-party camera, so this is only a temporary solution.
  • There may be an issue with network connectivity. Try switching the phone to Airplane Mode by swiping down on the notification bar toggling the tile. You can also get the camera to work by turning off location — it’s another tile you can toggle in the notification bar.
  • Reboots also seem to temporarily fix the problem.
  • Some users do not see the problem after turning off battery optimization for the Google Photos and Camera app. To do this, go to Settings > Battery and click on the three dots on the top right. Hit Battery optimization, and click the drop-down to go to All apps. Scroll down and find the Google Photos and Camera apps to switch the setting to Don’t optimize.

Problem: Battery drain

Some Nexus owners are seeing their device’s battery draining faster than normal. The issue seems to have appeared after the Android 7.0 Nougat update dropped.

Potential solutions: 

  • What seems to work for most people is to reset app preferences with battery optimization. To do this, head to Settings > Battery and tap on the three dots on the top right. Hit Battery optimization, and press the three dots again. You’ll get an option to Reset app preferences. You should start seeing improvements to your battery life afterwards.

We’ll continue to search for any bugs and issues we find with Android Nougat. Are you on the same Android version and have problems we haven’t mentioned? Leave us a comment and we’ll look into it.

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