Android N developer preview released with multi-window feature

Android N developer preview released with multi-window feature

Google has surprised the tech world by releasing Android N developer preview months ahead of its I/O 2016 conference. The next-generation Android includes the anticipated multi-window feature as well as some advancements over the last year’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The developer preview is designed exclusively for Nexus devices to provide developers a “work in progress” build before the arrival of the final Android N version. Despite being an initial build, the new preview has multi-window as a flagship feature to counter Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile.

Android N developer preview

Android N developer preview brings a “work in progress” build for developers

“By releasing a ‘work in progress’ build earlier in development, we have more time to incorporate developer feedback,” says Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google, in a blog post.

The early release will not only help developers to take a glimpse of the next Android version but will also enable Google to release the final Android N for device makers just by this summer. This would result in the launch of new Android N devices sometime in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

What’s New

Google’s Multi-window offers an all-new multitasking experience. It allows you to open simultaneously two different apps on the screen at the same time. Also, there is picture-in-picture mode that developers would use to enable video playback on top of some other apps. This mode was featured on some Android smartphones in the past through custom ROMs.

Android N

Android N build comes with multi-window feature

Apart from the new multitasking-centric feature, Google has provided direct reply notification support on the Android N developer preview. This new feature lets you answer your messages directly from the notification. The preview also has bundled notifications for grouping notifications from the same app.

The Android N preview also comes with an updated Doze mode that will save battery life on your device whenever the screen is turned off. This is an expansion of the original Doze mode that debuted on Android Marshmallow to disable background apps when the device is idle from a long time.

Besides, Google has provided improved Java 8 language support. This new move will let developers use Java 8 features such as default and static methods, streams and functional interfaces to enhance their creations.

How to download Android N

The Android N developer preview is initially available for a handful of Nexus devices, including the Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, Nexus 9 and Pixel C. If you own one of these devices, you can download the preview by visiting the Android beta page.

It is worth noting here that the initial build is just a developer preview and has many bugs and some performance issues. So you’re recommended to download the preview only for developmental or testing purposes on a secondary device.

New distribution system

In addition to the N preview, Google has upgraded its distribution system to let developers receive future developer preview updates right via OTA (over-the-air) channel. This new change suggests that Google is planning to make it easy for everyone, including developers, to receive future Android updates on their devices.

Categories: Miscellenous News