At its I/O event held earlier this week Google told us quite a lot about what we can expect with Android N – that’s despite it as of yet not having an official name.
A “beta quality” build is now available to regular users and can be downloaded if you have a Pixel C tablet or a Nexus phone as recent as the 6. You also need to make sure you are enrolled at on Android’s Beta Program.
If you do decide to try out the beta version of Android N, it’s probably a good idea to back up your data first. Although, for most users it is probably best to wait until its official release.
The new OS will have a whole host of new features but here are 5 of the most exciting:
Google claims that the performance improvements will be very notable with a new graphics API called Vulkan making more efficient visual performance on phones and tablets. The Android N also has a JIT compiler which will improve battery life and allow apps to be 50% smaller and to be installed 75% quicker.
The settings menu has been completely revamped with new features such as suggestions about what you may wish to do such as set up email accounts or use voice commands. Each option gives you some relevant information about what it does and how to use it.
3. Virtual Reality
VR is an important part of the Android N and you will need a Daydream certified phone for it to work properly. The device will need the correct sensors and displays in order to improve the performance inside headsets. As for content, Google is working on virtual reality versions of its own apps including YouTube, Street View, and Photos, and it’s collaborating with a variety of media partners, most notably Netflix and Electronic Arts. Daydream is set to be released later this year.
The notifications shade has been completely altered with smaller icons to make better use of space. The notification themselves have also been revamped and been made more functional with small buttons available if you don’t feel like swiping. More notifications can also be seen at any one time by expanding the window. A long press option and quick toggles are also available making the Android N far more practical.
This is basically a split screen feature and will be available on both phones and tablets. Task switching is also available and allows users to switch to their most recently used app with a simple double tap. It is call Quick Switch by Google but in reality it is just Alt-Tab for Android. If you have opened to many apps there is also a Clear All option so that everything can be closed at once.