Google's new Android software to be launched within weeks

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The new version of Google's Android software, which runs on some of the world's most popular smartphones, will be launched to customers in the "coming weeks", the technology giant has said. 

Android N or Android Nougat was previewed by Google earlier this year and includes a new multi-window tool to view two apps side-by-side, improved battery life and wider encryption for personal data security among its new features.

The software also expands its emoji library to over 1,500, and the announcement comes just weeks before rivals Apple are expected to update their iPhone and release an update to their own iOS software. 

"Today, we'll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices," said Android's Sameer Samat. 

"And with more ways to make Android your own, it's by far our sweetest release yet. 

"We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year. For starters, we invited developers to take a sneak peek at Android N back in March, so they could bring their apps to the new platform earlier."

Google also confirmed that alongside their own line of Nexus smartphones, the upcoming LG V20 would be the first devices to receive the update.

Those users who are part of the Android Beta Program - which gives users early access to unfinished software - will also be able to receive Nougat first. 

Manufacturers including Sony, HTC, Samsung and Huawei all use Android as their smartphone software, though Google has not yet confirmed when Nougat will be widely available on these devices. 

The Nougat name comes from Google's tradition of naming their software updates alphabetically after "sweet treats" and follows 2015's Marshmallow update.