Android N was supposed to be shown off for the first time Google I/O 2016, but the developer preview for Android N was already made available for Android lovers way before the official launch event.
Just like every year, we don’t know what N stands for yet, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it’s going to be called something sweet, given the previous name records.
If you own a brand new Nexus device then you can easily try out the developer preview of Android N. Now, it’s a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t install it on your primary device as it’s still in the testing or beta phase.
Now that we are done with the basics, let’s dig deeper into Android N and see what new awesome features this new Android version (7.0?) has in store for us.
Enhanced Notification System
Since the visuals of Android N are similar to Android Marshmallow, you won’t see much changes on the outside. But what you’ll notice, for sure, is the enhanced notification system – both viewing and managing. A lot of what you’ll see here are redesigns. Notifications, in the notification tray, are now more streamlined and provide more details by making use of bundled messages which can be expanded and collapsed.
Notifications are wider now and show much more information. Some first-party apps, like Gmail, gives you extra options like seeing multiple emails, replying from within the notification tray, etc. on a two finger swipe on that particular notification.
Split Screen & Changes to the Recent Apps Menu
Although split screen has been available in the skinned version of Android, it finally makes its way to stock Android with Android N. Now, the reason I combined both addition of split screen and changes in recent apps in one point is that split screen is enabled via recent apps button.
When you are in an app, you just hold the recent apps button and select another app from the recent apps list to use it on the second screen.
And as for recent apps menu, app cards in recent app menu has been made bigger and a “close all” button has also been added there.
Here’s my favorite feature of Android N. Now double tap on recent apps button works as an app switcher and throws you back to the last app you were using.
Settings App Overhaul & Modified Quick Settings
Some basic changes are made to the settings app, like the addition of a hamburger menu, that makes navigation within the app simpler. Another thing that I like here is how each sub menu shows little but important information on the outside. Like battery menu tells you how much battery you have left, storage menu tells you how much storage you have, WiFi tells you which network you are connected to, etc. and all this happens without actually entering the submenu. It’s pretty dope actually.
Quick settings have also been redesigned and some important ones like WiFi, Bluetooth, flashlight, etc. are available via one swipe instead of two. Pull down on it to get to the actual quick settings page, which now is paginated.
Inclusion of Virtual Reality
Android N also brings native support for virtual reality. Google is launching an entire new Android-powered platform called Daydream and you’ll need a specific set of specifications in order to use it. Manufacturers like LG, HTC, Samsung, Huawei, Asus, ZTE, Alcatel and Xiaomi are onboard to make Daydream-compatible devices.
This particular feature is quite awesome. From Android N, you can check out the app without installing it on your device. Although, a particular part of the app will only be usable or visible to you, but still this is huge. Best of all, Android Instant Apps is compatible with all Android devices running Jellybean or higher (4.1+) with Google Play services.
Some other little but significant improvements includes an improved doze, new emojis, themes for Google Keyboard, implementation of Vulkan graphics API which should deliver more efficient visual performance, a new JIT compiler which means that apps should install up to 75 percent faster, and compiler code should be reduced by 50 percent, night mode, seamless Android updates, different wallpapers for home screen and lock screen, and much more.
IMAGE SOURCE: MKBHD