Google have released a Developer Preview of Android N. We have put together a list of what we know and what we are yet to find out about this upcoming Android update.
Google will not be announcing Android N at its I/O Conference in May in a bid to give developers more time to update apps and familiarise themselves with the Android N.
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What we Know
Without a doubt, one of the biggest features of Android N is the multi-tasking support. This allows you to use apps side-by-side as you would expect. So far this can be used on both mobiles, and tablets. TouchWiz and Optimus had already implemented this feature a while ago now, so it’s good to see it finally baked into stock Android.
No surprise this could well be a popular feature for enterprises and commercial applications, giving the user much more efficiency and better screen management.
Direct Reply Notifications
Now we can respond to messages straight from the notification screen. We can now use the inline messaging feature to quick reply to a message. Direct Reply Notifications will be available to third-party apps too, so we could see apps like WhatsApp making use of this nifty feature.
Redesigned Quick Settings
The quick settings area has been revamped. Previously a user would have to swipe down twice. Now we need only do it once. A small, thin bar sits at the top with our toggles. This is quicker and leaves more room for notifications. Of course you can customise which icons appear and where.
Google will now bundle your notifications by app. So, messages from a specific app for example, will have their cards appear together. The notification bundling is similar to the one iOS employs. It will be interesting to see, which, if any of the two is better.
Doze Mode 2.0
Android Marshmallow introduced a battery and data saving feature. Doze Mode. Think of it as a deep stand-by mode.
Doze mode 2.0 steps up these efforts by limiting background tasks and processes whenever the screen is off. This will be ideal for seeking the most out of your battery if you can’t immediately charge it. so you can go a day or so without charging it right away.
What We Don’t Know
There is wild speculation about the name. So far we know it is being internally referred to as New York Cheesecake (NYC), although we know the internal name is usually dropped once the official name is announced.
Favourites for the name are Nutella in top position and Nougat in a close second.
Rumour has it the app drawer may be removed. Undoubtedly one of the most unique features about Android. We have seen a few phones with no app drawer already. Although the app drawer is present in the Android N developer release. It could go either way at this stage, but many Android OEMs seem to be doing away with it.
Stock Stylus Support
Android Authority recently reported that Samsung may have hinted at stock stylus support in Android N by planning to remove several S Pen features from its Look API. These features are marked for depreciation, we assume stylus features will be a park of stock Android 7.0. Similar things have happened before with battery saving features in Lollipop and fingerprint software in Marshmallow.
One rumour states that Google will introduce an all-new messaging app with Android N, to replace Hangouts SMS/MMs integration. The rumoured app will be based on the Rich Communication Services platform, which gives scope for much more than just talk and text capabilities. RCS includes features like, video chat, file sharing and instant messaging. Google has already stated its commitment to the RSC platform, however at this stage it’s too early to tell if it will be included in Android N
Although it was announced this month, we probably won’t see it being released until October. When and, if, you get it depends heavily on what device you own. Of course, Nexus devices will get the update much sooner than those with Samsung or HTC devices, since they have to customise Android and tweak the UI to their liking. Some may not receive the update at all. That's all we have for now, there is sure to be more features and rumours coming in the next few months.