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Android N developer preview is here: This is what’s new

Multi-window Apps can be launched in split-screen modes on phones and tablets unlike iOS where running multiple apps on the same screen is only possible on the bigger iPads

tech Updated: Mar 10, 2016 12:30 IST
Multi-window Apps can be launched in split-screen modes on phones and tablets unlike iOS where running multiple apps on the same screen is only possible on the bigger iPads
Multi-window Apps can be launched in split-screen modes on phones and tablets unlike iOS where running multiple apps on the same screen is only possible on the bigger iPads(Google)

As rumours and leaks of Android N started pouring in, Google decided it was time to give us a sneak peek. So, now you can go to this link and download a developer preview if you’re familiar with flashing a ROM. Else, just continue reading and wait for the official update.

Google announced that they are releasing a developer preview seeking feedback so that they can handover the best possible version to manufacturers this summer, most likely around the Google I/O conference in May. That’s also when we might get our first glimpse of the new nexus devices. Google releases the in-progress versions of Android so that developers can build and test versions of their apps in time for the new Android OS’ launch. Here are the major changes in Android N.

Multi-window Apps can be launched in split-screen modes on phones and tablets unlike iOS where running multiple apps on the same screen is only possible on the bigger iPads. The split-screen view works in both landscape and portrait orientations. Apps can also go into picture-in-picture mode on devices like TVs, which is a great feature for apps that play video.

Direct reply notifications: Users can reply to incoming message notifications quickly and conveniently, without leaving the notification shade.

Bundled notifications - With N, apps can group notifications from the same app together -- for example individual messages from a messaging app. Grouped notifications can be expanded into individual notifications by using a two-finger gesture or tapping the new expansion button.

Efficiency - Doze feature was launched with Marshmallow to save battery when the device is stationary. In N, Doze additionally saves battery whenever the screen turns off.

Project Svelte on the other hand, is an effort to reduce the memory needs of Android so that it can run on a much broader range of devices, in N by making background work more efficient.

Google added that, “The N Developer Preview includes an updated SDK with system images for testing on the official Android emulator and on Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices (and to help test out these features on a tablet, developers can get a $150 discount on Pixel C).

We are also making it easier for you to try out N on your development devices with the new Android Beta Program. Starting today, you can update your Android devices to the developer preview of N and receive ongoing updates via OTA by visiting g.co/androidbeta.”

So, are you as restless as we are to try these features out?