Google has released the Android N developer Preview for Nexus devices. It has new features which includes multi-window support (split-screen multitasking similar to Windows, iOS and OS X), improved Doze power saving mode, enhanced notifications and much more.
Unlike the last few years, Google has changed their approach to releasing Android updates this time around. Google normally waits until Google I/O to announce the update and release a developer preview, however, this year it has been different. Ars Technica broke the news that Google is planning to release a developer preview to the public and it didn’t take long afterwards for the release to be official.
Thue new update builds upon the updates released in Android Marshmallow such as Doze, notifications, Project Svelte, while adding a few new ones such as the major multi-window/multitasking feature, number blocking, data saver and more.
Here is the list of all the new features in Android N and their details:
- Multitasking – apps can now work in multi-windows on both phones and tablets. On phones, the apps work one above the other, whereas on tablets, they work side-by-side, similar to iOS and Windows.
- Doze – First introduced in Marshmallow, Doze can now detect when your phone is not moving and the screen is off and turns on power saving modes.
- Enhanced notifications – Quick replies, bundled notifications and more customization for developers to modify how their notifications loo like with hero images, avatars and more.
- New quick settings menu – quick settings now show on the notifications shade with small toggles. Users can also swipe between multiple panels of quick settings and move the tiles around simply by dragging and dropping.
- Data Saver – data saver is now built into settings. It helps users save on data bandwidth for all Internet activity. It has the same features as Chrome’s data saver feature on Android.
- Picture-in-picture for Android TV – oddly, this feature should have been on tablets too, but it has been announced for Android TV for now. It allows apps to show videos in picture-in-picture mode.
- Number blocking – users can now block numbers from calling/texting them. Similar to iOS’ number blocking feature.
- Direct boot – this is supposed to improve boot times on Andorid devices.
- Project Svelte – Introduced first in Marshmallow, Google has worked on optimizing this further in Android N by minimizing RAM usage for background apps.
The Preview is available for the following devices:
- Nexus 5X
- Nexus 6
- Nexus 6P
- Nexus 9
- Nexus 9G
- Nexus Player
- Pixel C
How to install Android N on Nexus devices
If you have either of the compatible Nexus devices with you, you can download and flash the image for your device from the link below. Make sure that you back up your data first and avoid experimenting on your primary device because it is a work in progress and might have bugs that could ruin your experience. Users can also sign up for the new Android Beta program to download the OTA update.
P.S. here is the new Android N wallpaper for those interested: