Android N is still months away from its official release, but we already have a Developer preview version available for download.
Android Marshmallow was released towards the end of last year and as such, the new Android N comes just a few months after this OS has been on the market. But why is Google in such a hurry to release the next Android OS to the public?
Here are 10 new features that this new Android N OS brings to lovers of this Google-owned mobile OS.
Samsung and LG devices have already had this ability for quite some time now, where users can have more than one app opened up on the same window. However, the new Android N now wants to make it permanent where users can use two apps in the split-screen mode when multitasking. The OS will have a default way of adjusting the sizes of the split windows, but users can also change them manually. In short, once Android N is here watching a video on your phone while at the same time tweeting won’t be any big deal.
If the current notification system looks somehow messy to you, Android N has the solutions you need. The OS comes with a feature known as Bundled notifications where users get grouped notifications from each app. By tapping on the bundle, one will be able to see what’s under the package as well as get a preview of the messages under each bundled notification. In essence, this is the same feature that is offered on Android Wear devices, only that the latter calls it Notification Stacks.
Better file management
Android N comes with a much better native file management app than what Android Marshmallow came with. Other than accessing the basics of a file manager, the new Android N brings hamburger menus, ability to move and share files, searching by folders and file types, integration with Google Drive and so on.
Additional Quick Settings options
The new Android N adds more Quick Settings options. Users can now add up to nine toggles in one Quick Settings screen and when you swipe to the right, you will also be able to access more of these toggles.
Better battery life
Android 6.0 Marshmallow brought with it a battery management feature known as Doze. However, Android N is here to better this feature and make it more usable. The Doze feature will now work even when the screen is turned off and not just when there is no motion. In this way, devices running on the upcoming Android 7.0 will have better battery life than the current ones.
Recent Apps button
There is a new Recents button located at the lower end of the screen that offers more functionality. Double-tapping the Recents Apps button right from the home screen will take you to the last app you used. When the said app is already open, another double-tap will lead you back to the previous screen.
When you press the Recent Apps menu, you will get details of all apps that have been recently used.
Block unwanted callers from system level
The new Android N will now let you easily deal with unwanted callers right from the system level. Apps such as Dialer, Messenger or Hangouts will offer this capability. What this means is once you’ve blocked a given number at system level, it will automatically be blocked by other apps installed on the same device, including third party apps.
When you block a contact via Dialer, the contact will also remain blocked on other platforms such as WhatsApp, Skype, and others. Be warned that this will prevail even if you switch to a new device.
Subtle changes in Settings app
Users of the new OS will come across a new Settings menu that includes things like Night Mode theme, data saver for blocking apps from consuming data from the background, screen zooming and so on.
You can add emergency info on lock screen
Google is playing “Good Samaritan” with the new Android N. The company has added the ability to include your personal emergency information on your lock screen such that anyone near you can access it in case of any emergency. Just go to the phone’s Settings and select Users. From there, find the Emergency Information option and enter your preferred details, including contacts, medical details and so on.
So, whenever an Android N device is accessed when locked, an Emergency Dialer option will be available to them, in addition to the Emergency Info of the device’s owner.
No more optimizing apps
Google drastically reduced the time taken for apps to install on Android devices with this new OS. Current Android apps take some time to restart after an update as the system is usually optimizing them. Android N has now eliminated this long wait and the device now restarts faster than before. In addition, installing apps on this OS will be much faster than before.