Google recently released Android N Developer Preview taking everyone by surprise (it wasn’t expected to come out for some time). The preview enabled developers to check out new additions like notification enhancements and multi-window support.

However, it’s important to note that it’s just a preview as Android N (this is just a working title, the real name is still a secret) is still being developed as you read this blog post!

The preview was released in order to incorporate developer feedback to try and significantly reduce the number of bugs when it officially comes out. Developers can now keep up-to-date on the latest pre-release builds on Google’s new Android Beta Program.

The following can now be updated to the developer preview via an OTA:

  • General Mobile 4G Android One
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 9
  • Nexus Player
  • Pixel C

Here are the highlights of new opportunities that developers can expect to work with, in the new Android N Developer Preview.

Multi-Window Support

Google has been paying attention to developers’ demands and has added a multitasking feature into its OS. With this new feature, users can now open and run two apps on one screen (in split screen mode).

Further, Android TV devices will now be able to add apps in the picture-in-picture mode. With this new feature, you can essentially browse and interact with apps while watching TV.

Multi-Locale Support

You can now select a variety of locales in Settings with over 25 alternatives to commonly used languages. This will enable support for bilingual use-cases (including over 100 new languages that come with partial support).

Further, in the new device setup welcome screen, the new version will include Vision Settings as well. This will make user configuration much easier than it has been in the past.

Background Optimization

Project Svelte can now be used to optimize apps in the background. The project is focused on keeping track of background processing that significantly affects the system performance of other apps and battery life.

Direct Boot

This new feature will boost the startup times of Android devices. Direct Boot will also enable registered apps to only have limited functionality after an unanticipated reboot.

However, during down times, like when the user is sleeping, you will still receive calls, messages, and your alarm will be unaffected and function normally.

Notification Enhancements

Notifications have been redesigned by Google to enable custom previews, direct reply, template updates, and bundled notifications. As a result, users can now use the direct reply function to interact with apps (like text messages) directly from the notification window.

Further, the Quick Settings panel has also been updated to make more room for additional setting tiles. Now users can control what is displayed in Quick Settings and the order in which they appear (changing tiles is as simple as a drag and drop).

Data Saver

Another new and interesting feature is the Data Saver mode. This will enable users to significantly reduce the data that’s used by apps. When Data saver is enabled, the feature will block background apps from using data and will signal apps to use data only when necessary. However, users can still select apps to run in the background while using the Data Saver mode.

Number-Blocking

The phone app, messaging apps, and third-party provider apps will now be able to read through the list of blocked numbers. But the list will not be accessed by other apps on the device. This native feature will remember blocked numbers even after the device is reset via backup and restore. Android N is also enabled with a call screening feature to screen incoming calls.

Doze

Google’s Doze (first introduced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow) has been revamped to save battery life not only while idle but also when you travel (with your phone in your pocket).

The new version of Doze will kick in soon after the screen turns off and will be enabled until the screen is turned on or the device is plugged into a power source.

Google has also redesigned the user interface for Settings and now allows you to jump between different options via a hamburger button (so you don’t have to push the back button anymore). Further, a new recent button has been added with split-screen options.

It remains to be seen if developer experiences with Android will significantly improve after this upgrade. So far, developers have been complaining that Google hasn’t made much of an effort when it comes to the smooth migration of existing file for a project to check that configuration is valid with the new build tools (which drives people nuts).

What's your feedback on the new Android N Preview? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below or send us a tweet to @Intersog.

Featured image: techradar.com

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Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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