Good news for the Android lovers, as on Wednesday Google released the first preview built for the next version of Android, that’s called Android N. Comprising of an updated software development kit (SDK), this new preview build is available for the official Android Emulator developer tool that you can install on Google’s Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9 and Pixel C devices.
Mostly Android preview are released each summer at the Google I/O developers conference, however this year it was a different case altogether. Explaining the same, Google Senior Vice President, Hiroshi Lockheimer said that Google is debuting the next version earlier as it requires more developer feedback.
He averred, “By releasing the first preview and asking for your feedback now (in March!), we’ll be able to act on that feedback while still being able to hand off the final N release to device makers this summer, so they can get their hands on the latest version of Android earlier than ever.”
Though Google didn’t recommend mobile app developers to go with the first preview build of Android N as a daily driver, still the company is making efforts to actually make it easier for developers to install the preview. Google believes that developers can upgrade to Android N easily.
Now Apple did the same with its latest beta releases of iOS 9 and noting the fact that anyone who installs beta software on their phones can attest, the process becomes way too easier.
Meanwhile, lot many changes are awaited to Android N, whereas Google added some cool new features that consumers can look forward to once the final release is there. Multi-window mode is certainly a striking feature with it being able to have more than one app open at a time. With iOS 9, Apple introduced Split Screen, Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture modes; however that only works on the iPad. Now with Android N, developers will be enabled to have this type of functionality on the phone and the tablet.
This is how it’s described on Google:
“On handheld devices, two apps can run side-by-side or one-above-the-other in split-screen mode. On TV devices, apps can use picture-in-picture mode to continue video playback while users are interacting with another app.”
Samsung provides split screen app windows useful for multitasking for years on various devices, mainly Galaxy Note phones and tablets.
Android N offers better notification support and the ability to access notifications without opening the app. This way you can reply to messages in-line without halting your actions as well as developers will be enabled to bundle notifications from the same app together. The SMS notifications can also be seen in one place.
As it comes to N, the Doze mode from Marshmallow is used to save battery when the device screen is turned off. This is certainly an appealing feature.
What’s the name?
Well, it yet not has a name or some even say that Google is keeping it a secret as of now.
Review so far:
With stable build, Android N offers fair notification support and as you tap on the bundle it’s going to show the individual notifications. The inline reply support is still in progress while multi-window support is very cool and can be accessed easily by long-pressing on the Overview button inside an app. Though not every app will work in multi-window mode, several will do.
Coming to apps, apart from Stock Google, apps such as Chrome and Gail, Spotify worked well too.
Meanwhile, now as Android plans to handle multi-windows the same way iOS is, it will certainly require a phone with at least 2GB of RAM so in order to multitask effectively.
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