Android M has reached a minor 2.3% of all Android users, but Google is not waiting. The Android N (Developer Preview; only for Nexus & Pixel C) is here.
Android Lollipop brought about a radical change in the way Android looks and works. It introduced the Material Design philosophy that is now seen across many apps on Android. It also brought about significant performance improvements with the introduction of Android Runtime (ART) platform. Android M wasn’t a significant update but tried to perfect the Android L OS. But Android N . A little bit of redesign, a bunch of new features.
1. Multitasking overhaul!
The most significant change on Android N is the way multitasking works. Now, spit screen multitasking is built right into Android:
You can simply double tap the multitasking button to instantly switch between apps without going though the multitasking drawer.
2. Notifications changes
The new notification pane looks like this:
You can also now reply right from the notification without opening the app - for example, you can write a reply to a message you’ve received on Hangouts without even opening the app, right from the notification.
Also, notifications from the same app are stacked in order to reduce clutter.
The settings app is also updated with this side pane layout for easy switching between settings.
3. Doze & Data saver
Both Doze and data saver are better on Android N. Doze will improve your battery life even more by switching off all network transfers and services like GPS and sync. Data saver will block background data and reduce usage by loading lower quality images.
Here is MKBHD explaining the new features of Android N:
Sure, this is just the beginning. There will be a lot of new features and optimisations added in the coming months before Android N rolls out to devices in May this year. It is a good start though - Google is pulling in developers early to make sure that when the OS is available to the public, third party apps can take full utilisation of the new features.
Again, there will be scepticism about Android N’s reach. Will it roll out to the majority of Android devices, or will it again just be the Nexus phones getting these updates? Will an early developer preview allow for more phone manufacturers to optimise their apps for the OS and hence release a public updater early? We are yet to know these answers. Hopefully in a few months, we will know.
Android N will officially debut at Google I/O 2016, which will be held on May 18-20.
Make sure you follow Technonerds for more updates on the topic!
All Android N features: http://developer.android.com/preview/api-overview.html
Google I/O 2016: https://events.google.com/io2016/