Google surprised everyone in march by releasing the Android N Developer Preview significantly earlier than expected. The Android N Developer preview offers a look at new features which will be available in the next Android build including multi-window support, brand new notification shade, notification enhancements, and more.
Google however stresses that “Android N is still in active development.” Dave Burke, VP of Engineering (Android), in a blog post announced the availability of developer preview and said the motive of releasing a “work in progress” build earlier in the development cycle was to give Google more time to “incorporate developer feedback.”
Here are few stand-out features of Android N
New homescreen folder icons
It’s a little thing, but the homescreen folder icons got a minor visual refresh in Android N Preview 2, with app icons appearing in a grid instead of the stack-of-icons look in Marshmallow. The change is purely cosmetic, though—folders act the same as they did before.
With Android N, Google is adding a much-requested multitasking feature into the OS – multi-window support. The new feature will allow users to pop open two apps on the screen at once and run them side-by-side or one-above-the-other in split screen mode. The company has also added resize option for apps which can be done by dragging the divider between them. Apart from the multi-window support, Google says that users on Android TV devices will be able to put apps in picture-in-picture mode, which will allow them to continue showing content while the user browses or interacts with other apps.
Google has also redesigned notifications in Android N build which will include template updates, bundled notifications, direct reply, and custom view.
With notification template update, the hero image and avatar will get more emphasis while the bundled notifications will allow system group messages together. The direct reply will allow users to communicate with apps in real-time such as responding to an SMS or text message directly within the notification pane. Google says that two new APIs has been enabled to leverage system decorations for custom views in notifications.
Multiple pages in the quick settings drawer
At first glance, the full quick settings drawer appears mostly unchanged in Android N, but you can now add multiple pages of quick settings icons—useful in case you just want quick access to as many settings as possible. Now no need to Root your device for some extra setting’s on this panel.
Close all recent apps
Is your app switcher getting a little overcrowded? In Android N Preview 2, you can now close all recently used apps with just a tap. Tap the Recent apps button (the square button at the bottom of the screen), scroll all the way to the top, then tap Clear all.
Google introduced Doze, a system mode that saved battery when the device is idle, in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Now in Android N, Google has improved the feature to save battery while on the go. The company says that with new restrictions to apps it can save battery when carrying the devices in their pockets.
A short time after the screen turns off while the device is on battery, Doze restricts network access and defers jobs and syncs.Turning the screen on or plugging in the device will bring the device out of Doze automatically.
With Direct boot addition, Android N will improve device startup times and will allow registered apps to have limited functionality even after an unexpected reboot.
Google gives an example of a device which is encrypted and reboots while the user is sleeping, the feature will still make sure that the registered alarms, messages and incoming calls continue notify the user as normal. “Direct boot takes advantage of file based encryption in Android N to enable fine grained encryption policies for both system and app data,” adds Google.
Name the new Android
Google is trying to decide what to name the next version of Android. Have any name’s which start’s with the letter N? You can submit your suggestions on there Name Android N page.