Android N features overview
Android Marshmallow 6.0 was first announced 28-MAY-2015. It wasn’t until OCT-2015 that the final build was released.
As of MAR-2016, 2.3% of devices on Play Store are running Android 6.0, and it’s estimated that 24% of the those devices are CM / CyanogenMod. This makes a paltry <1% of mobile devices with official manufacturer released Marshmallow. Many of the latest and greatest mobiles have yet to see an official Marshmallow release.
Even so, Google pushes onward and upward; Android will be releasing Android N, the 7.0 version of their Linux based OS. Developer previews have already been released for Nexus 5X, 6P, and 9.
We’ve also been promised better tablet support. As opposed to phone apps resized for tablets, we’ll see apps Android apps which take advantage of a tablet’s available screen real estate; according to Pixel C team member Glen Murphy: “we’re working hard on a range of enhancements for this form factor.”
This allows developers to create apps which will run at the same time in the foreground; think chatting on Line while browsing Facebook without having to switch between apps.
This also allows for official picture-in-picture video mode, which has been around for a while via 3rd party solutions, but nice to see Android officially supporting it now.
Notification panel revamp
When pulling down notifications we will get access to power settings and notices below this. By pressing the expand button we are brought to the full quick settings panel.
Gone now is the card design and in it’s place is a simple sheet of white, with notifications split by a thin gray line and grouped together based on app.
We can now also interact with notifications directly from the panel; a very cool feature, and one of the few interesting innovations Google has added to Android over the last few iterations.
As well, developers will now be able to create custom quick settings icons and functions.
Marshmallow introduced Doze mode, but Android N looks to improve upon it; updated to include two separate Doze modes: one, which puts the phone into deep doze when the phone is still, think on the nightstand when you go to sleep, and a second doze state that keeps the phone partially awaken when there’s some movement, for example in your pocket.
The Deep Doze mode has also been updated to put into further state of hibernation than it does in Marshmallow, waking to perform tasks much more infrequently.
Settings menu improvements
A welcome addition to AOSP Android 7.0 is the ability to see what top-level settings are: think being able to see which Wi-Fi network connected to, without having to enter the WiFi menu.
but the final build is not planned for release until September, which means devices other than the latest Nexus mobiles won’t see Android 7.0 until Spring 2017.
Recent apps revamp
Android N will feature new larger Recent App cards and new functions.
The ability to switch between the current app and the previously used app by double-tapping a capacitive button is coming to Android N. This is a feature that Xposed mod users have had for a couple of years now and one that we’ve found very handy. It can be used to switch between Chrome and a chat app for example.
Long-pressing recents will bring you to multi-window mode.
The data saver feature in Android N will stop background data from transmitting. In addition, you can whitelist specific apps to be ignored. Say for example you are on SIM data and don’t want email sync using up data, but still want to be able to receive chats.
Return of Dark Mode
Another feature that was in the developer build of Android Marshmallow but left out of the final build is Dark Mode. Android N has now brought this back. Not only does it set Dark Mode system wide, but we also have the ability to control tint and blue light.
Dark Mode can be time triggered so that it comes on and off according to your typical schedule, eg. dark mode at 10PM and back to Standard Mode at 7AM.
Emergency info on lock screen
Included in Android N is the ability to leave a link to emergency info from your lockscreen. This info can contain such items as blood type, name, address, known allergies, closest kin contact, and any other essential information we want to include.
Android Marshmallow made a feint at bringing us multi-window mode, but it didn’t quite make it to the final release. In Android N, Google is giving it another go.
App developers will have to opt-in and patch their apps for split display mode; this is done by adding the resizableActivity attribute. With this attribute developers can specify a minimum window size for their app, and also determines whether an app can automatically resize, or needs to be restarted to enter multi-window.
Those who use Android TV are in for a nice surprise, as Android N will be supporting Picture-in-Picture mode (PIP).
Oracle recently sued Google over the use of “rewritten” Java code. No problem for Google, as they’re now switching to OpenJDK. OpenJDK is still Oracle code, but is part of the open-source Java Development Kit.
According to Google, “we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services.”
The app drawer
Rumors abounded regarding the app drawer being removed in Android N, and indeed some of the big players had removed it or provided the option to remove it. This included hitters such as LG G5, HTC One X9 and Galaxy S7.
Thankfully, the developer preview of Android N has the app drawer included. While that’s not a guarantee the final build will have it, it’s a good sign.
At the very least, we will have the excellent Apex Launcher still available if things take a turn for the worse with Android N.
Android N Just-In-Time
One of the most exciting features of Android N is the Just-In-Time hybrid compile mode, which we’ve written a separate post on and highly encourage you to check out.https://gizbeat.com/9894/android-n-features-overview/https://gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/Android-N-notifications-450x305.jpghttps://gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/Android-N-notifications-150x150.jpgAndroidNewsAndroid Marshmallow 6.0 was first announced 28-MAY-2015. It wasn't until OCT-2015 that the final build was released. As of MAR-2016, 2.3% of devices on Play Store are running Android 6.0, and it's estimated that 24% of the those devices are CM / CyanogenMod. This makes a paltry <1% of mobile...Damian Parsonshttps://plus.google.com/107879368390224447304 [email protected]AdministratorHi, I'm Damian Parsons. I've been working with Android phones since the first Droid came out. I'm fascinated by computers and technology. My first BBS were ran on an old Apple IIc and Commodore 64. I work hard to bring the latest updates to you every day - without all the boring fluff. Please subscribe to keep up on the newest China tech. See our forum -> www.chinaphonearena.comGizBeat