Android N Preview: ​Google releases new developer version of Android

The developer preview edition of the next Android, which features a native side-by-side app mode, is being released today.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
Android N

The next version of Android will no longer be emphasizing the card metaphor.

Android Police

The first preview of Android N, the next edition of Android, has been released.

As CNET reports, the Android N Developer Preview edition is now available for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Pixel C Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and the General Mobile 4G, an Android One phone. As expected, the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, will not be getting Android N.

The new Android features a native side-by-side app mode in Android. This feature will work on both Android smartphones and tablets.

To use it, developers must add split-screen mode to their apps with a new manifest attribute: android:resizableActivity. Older apps won't be able to run in this mode.

The notification panel looks quite different. The card metaphor, which appeared to be Android's future interface, has been deemphasized.

The new simpler interface has the power controls at top of the panel. Considering how important battery life is to mobile devices, this is a welcome change.

Another nice change is that you can now work directly with a notification instead of having to open the app. This new functionality, unlike the split-screen, will work with older applications.

Doze mode, another battery saving trick introduced in Marshmallow, has been improved. Android devices will now save power whenever the screen is off.

This version of Android is also the first to use Oracle's OpenJDK instead of Apache Harmony. This means Android programmers will be able to make use of Java 8 features.

Android N code samples: First peek at downloadable projects

And for that biggest of all questions, "What will Android N" really be named?" Nerds? Nugget? Nutella? We won't know that until Google released Android N to the general public.

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