Android N [Preview] available for download!

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by nfl46, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. nfl46 macrumors 603

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    #1
    Google I/O is happening on May 18-20, but forget Google I/O—the developer preview of the next version of Android is launching right now. Google has posted the Android N Developer Preview for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Pixel C Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and the General Mobile 4G, an Android One phone.

    Before you get too invested in the interface on display here, it's worth noting that the Android MDeveloper Preview has gone through several designs (like the weird letter-indexed app drawer) and features (day/night mode) that have not made it to the Developer Preview. In fact, the whole point of this super-early preview seems to be to gather as much feedback as possible. "The sooner we hear from you, the more of your feedback we can integrate," Google says.

    As we saw in the Android M Developer Preview, Google has been working hard on matching Windows and iOS by building a native side-by-side app mode in Android. For Android N, the feature is apparently ready for prime time. The gallery above shows off the feature, which works on tablets and phones—it looks a lot like what is currently shipping on Samsung phones. The one question mark is how to actually turn it on and control it. On Samsung phones and in the Android N app preview, for instance, buttons on the recent app screen would trigger split screen mode. There are no such buttons in the screenshots.

    Like most of the big platform changes, developers will need to opt in to split-screen mode by targeting Android N and adding a new manifest attribute called android:resizableActivity to their apps. This attribute lets developers specify minimum allowable dimensions and whether to resize the app on the fly or kill the activity and redraw it with new dimensions. There's also a new "picture in picture" mode, which we presume turns apps into tiny floating windows.

    The notification panel is totally redesigned, lining up perfectly with earlier leaks. Power controls now live at the top of the notification panel, and at the end is an expandable drop-down button. The card motif on the notification panel is gone, replaced by a more-minimal white sheet with thin line separators. You can now reply directly from a notification without having to open the app, a feature that uses the same RemoteInput API that Android Wear uses, so many apps are already compatible with it.

    Notifications can also be "bundled" now from a single app, which sounds a lot like how Android Wear works. Developers can choose to put an app's notification stack into a single line; tapping on the new expand button or using a two-finger gesture will then expand the bundled notifications.

    Google's power-saving "Doze" mode has been improved in Android N, too. Previously, it only worked when the phone was stationary, but now Google says that "Doze additionally saves battery whenever the screen turns off." We'll have to dig into the exact implications of this change, but originally, Doze would disable network access and wake locks, with only apps using "high-priority messages" being able to push through Doze mode. Using this system every time the phone shuts off wouldn't be something that everyone would want, but we'll have to see how it works in practice. We'd guess that "screen off" is a less extreme version of Doze, while "stationary" is a stricter version. Google also says it has done more work on "Project Svelte," making Android run better on lower-specced devices.

    Google has also previously talked about switching Android N's Java implementation from an Apache Harmony-base to the Oracle-licensed OpenJDK. With this change also comes the chance to update to Java 8, giving app developers the use of lambdas and other Java 8 features. The Java 8 features aren't exclusive to Android N; Google says that "many popular Java 8 language features" can be used in normal development and Android's "Jack" compiler will spit out an app compatible with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and above. With the switch to OpenJDK and its Jack compiler, Google says it's "looking forward to tracking the Java language more closely while maintaining backward compatibility."

    As usual, the developer preview doesn't have a name yet—it's still just "Android N." However, Hiroshi Lockheimer, the head of Android, has been having a lot of fun teasing everyone about the new name, saying in a separate blog post, "What will the N-release be named? We’re nut tellin’ you yet." Will "Nutella" be the new name? Lockheimer also mentions that Google will " hand off the final N release to device makers this summer." Will OEMs get some time alone with Android N, or was that a release date window?

    If you're interested in trying the Developer Preview, Google is launching the "Android Beta Program" over at g.co/androidbeta. It seems to just be over-the-air delivery of the Developer Preview, while the traditional full images are still available at developer.android.com/preview. Google warns that this preview is "for developers only and not intended for daily use or consumer use."

    Those are all the features Google announced, but we haven't gotten to try out Android N yet for ourselves. There are certainly tons more goodies hidden inside. We'll load it up and be back for a full hands-on later.

    Here's some pictures:

    http://imgur.com/a/b4O6L
     
  2. epicrayban macrumors 603

    epicrayban

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    Nov 7, 2014
    #2
    I didn't read everything but scrolled through the pics... I'm actually liking what I'm seeing from stock.

    Most here know I'm not the biggest fan of stock Android, and actually prefer TouchWiz for the added features and functionality. But Android N seems to be adopting some of the key things from TW that I find useful, particularly the notification shade quick toggles.

    Maybe finally I can learn to appreciate a Nexus device. Promising stuff so far.
     
  3. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #3
    How about a link to the article you copy/pasted?
     
  4. nfl46 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #4
  5. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #5
    On the Nexus 5 support - darn. I was trying to figure out which device to grab as a backup for my 6P. Since I'm on Fi my options are limited, the 5 would be the cheapest.

    Once I start cycling again this year, I'll need something I can toss in the seat pack on my bike, something I don't mind getting scratched up, that would have been a nice option, with the option of also flashing new stock images or the beta of N, to play with.
     
  6. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    #6
    Thanks, I may give it a go on my drawer kept Nexus 6 (it fits more comfortably there than in my pocket).
     
  7. nfl46 thread starter macrumors 603

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  8. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    #8
    Android N will be like KitKat was to Ice Cream Sandwich being like the third revision of the Holo Design and N will be the third revision of Material Design. First version brings out all the bugs. Third time is the charm when they're able to eliminate it and everything is more stable.

    The improved Doze doesn't impress me. Been using Greenify for awhile now. I use Nova Launcher Prime and linked a double tap gesture to Greenify / Hibernate. Works well whether rooted or unrooted. I also use the Disable Service app on my rooted Android which turns off annoying apps from running. MIUI already has a feature to prevent apps from starting. The only thing that seems interesting is Project Svelte being improved. Less memory leaks which was problematic with Lollipop. Like I said, Android N is the KitKat (low RAM, stable) of what Material Design is.

    Third time is the charm
    Ice Cream Sandwich -> Jelly Bean -> KitKat
    Lollipop -> Marshmallow -> Android N

    iPhone OS 1 -> iPhone OS 2 -> iPhone OS 3
    iOS4 -> iOS5 -> iOS6
    iOS7 -> iOS8 -> iOS9

    Companies keep similar designs whether 3-5 years before revamping it again. This also happens in the auto industry. The first revamp is always the freshest but most problematic. This is why I look forward to the Samsung Galaxy S8 edge once Samsung brings back removable battery. S7 edge (2nd gen of the dual edged S line) is an improvement but not the most refined. Companies tend to cycle in threes...
     
  9. HiDEF macrumors 68000

    HiDEF

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    #9
    this! Wonder how long until the XDA community gets their hands on it an start creating some ROMS:rolleyes:
     
  10. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

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    Jun 1, 2006
    #10
    Actually it looks like you don't even have to flash. You can just sign up for the beta program and an OTA update to N will be sent to your device.

    http://www.google.com/android/beta

    Edit: You can also un-enroll and your device will restore itself to Marshmallow.
     
  11. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #11
    Without a set of balls to make the carriers update I won't get the update on my AT&T Samsung variant for what, a year to a year and a half? I wish Google used their resources and money to try to grow some larger balls.
     
  12. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

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  13. Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #13
    Warning for those wanting to try. obviously not a DD or even if you want a mostly functional phone :). I'll jump in at the beta release.

    https://developer.android.com/preview/support.html

    OOOOOOOOHHHHH

    Doze on the go...
    Android 6.0 introduced Doze, a system mode that saves battery by deferring apps' CPU and network activities when the device is idle, such as when it's sitting on a table or in a drawer.

    Now in Android N, Doze takes a step further and saves battery while on the go. Any time the screen is off for a period of time and the device is unplugged, Doze applies a subset of the familiar CPU and network restrictions to apps. This means users can save battery even when carrying their devices in their pockets.
     
  14. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #14
    Holy crap, this looks great. They basically took my favorite features from touchwiz and brought it to stock. This will make things interesting, as I was planning on getting the Note 6 this fall, but now it looks like the Nexus will be in tthe mix too. Can't wait.
     
  15. Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #15
    Thanks for the video! Multitasking is going to be badass on the 6P.
     
  16. spinedoc77, Mar 9, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #16
    Multi screen is awesome. I've had it on touchwiz for quite some time, but not all apps work with it. Hopefully googles version will be universal with all apps working on it.
     
  17. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #17
    Yup, Netflix and Hulu not working on it is frustrating at times. I'm hoping with this implementation it becomes more universal.
     
  18. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #18
    Anyone know if this is available for the HTC One M8 GPE? I've been searching online and so far can't find any info.
     
  19. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

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    #19
    A co worker just got the S7 edge. He might sell me his 6P. I want to try android N :)
     
  20. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #20
    Looks like the end of the upgrade road for my Nexus 7(2013).
     
  21. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #21
    Euuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
     

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  22. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #22
  23. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #23
    Signed up to beta and surprisingly quickly prompted for update. Downloading the OTA ... 6P
     
  24. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #24
  25. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #25
    Dang I wish I had a device to play with it on. Looking great. Why wouldn't you go for stock now eh? :p
     

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