Android N vs Android M – What are the Key Differences?

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Google is constantly revamping its Android operating system with both enhancements to existing features and the inclusion of new features.

The latest release that is available today is the Android 6.0 Marshmallow that was launched in October 2015 following a long wait after the beta version. Almost all smartphones, phablets and tablets operating on Android’s Lollipop are now slowly getting updated to the Marshmallow version. Although Android N has yet to receive an official name, there are many reports of its release in the near future. Nexus devices are likely to get the Android N update in summer while others may have to wait till summer for the same. This article highlights some major areas where the prospective Android 6.1 or Android 7.0 could be different from Android 6.0

Split-Screen Multitasking and Multi-Window Mode

It is a known fact that the split-screen option was made available even in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, the point to be noted is that Android 6.0 M allowed this option to be activated only for tablets. On the other hand, with Android N, you can use this feature just about on any Android handset.

As far as the multi-window mode, this feature was indicated as a likely new introduction in the preview version. But, this functionality failed to see the light of the day in the final version that was made available. However, Google assures you that with Android N, you will be able to view multiple app windows on your screen at the same time. In fact, this feature is anticipated to get a lot of attention from the masses. All you have to tap on the recent apps menu and slide the desired apps towards the top. You can also resize the size of each app window.

Doze Mode

This mode was introduced for the first time in Android 6.0 Marshmallow to save the battery of your handset by making it ‘sleep’ when not in use. According toreports, this feature has undergone various enhancements to help in conserving your battery still better.

Notification Bar Toggles

Samsung and quite a few other manufacturers have had quick setting toggles on their pull down notification bars for a long time. A mere press on the appropriate icon activates that setting, and a second press brings it back to the original setting. With Android N, you can customize the features for which you want the quick settings icons to be displayed. Also when the notification bar is pulled down, the quick settings menu is expanded to give you an insight to all the settings. In comparison, the Android M does not feature the quick settings icons, let alone allow the notification bar customization.

Android N vs Android M

Settings Menu

The Settings Menu is the heart of any operating system irrespective of the operating system version being used. Android N has introduced a new change in the Settings menu that is not available in any of the earlier versions. Getting back to the main Settings menu from a sub-setting window is now very easy. All you have to do is to tap on the three lines on the top of the sub-setting window to get back to the main Settings menu screen. Alternatively, you can swipe the sub-setting window screen towards the right. This not only makes navigation through various settings easier, but also saves time having to search for a setting menu on the main Settings screen.

Night Mode

Like the multi-window option, the night mode was found in most preview versions of Android M but did not make it to the final version. This mode will in all likelihood find a place for itself in Android N. This helps in turning the Settings mode dark when you feel the need for it. Interestingly, you can also customize this mode to get activated at a specific time interval even at daytime to lower screen brightness. This can once again boost the battery life. The Adjust tint sub option of the night mode is quite helpful to eliminate the bright blue light emitted that can be a strain on the eyes. It can even help you sleep better than before!

Fast App Switching

This is a feature that is exclusive to Android N and is sure to delight users who find the ALT+TAB functionality of Windows useful. A double tap on the Recent Apps button at the bottom of the screen highlights all the apps that you used in the past followed by the launch of the last used app. If you would rather choose the app you want to use, remember to tap the button only once and do the selection yourself.

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