Google has released the fourth developer preview of Android N for select Nexus devices. Now there's not a lot of big changes in this dev preview but I feel like I just want to share the changes that are here with you because we have covered the past dev previews. Plus I just want to get you guys hyped about Android N which is going to be officially launching here in the coming months.
So I have the fourth dev preview running on my Nexus 6P. You'll see that if we head into the settings and tap on Android N to activate the Easter egg, we'll see an N with the words Namey McNameface. Google has trolled us because they put the ball in our court essentially letting us Android users pick the name of the next version of Android N or at the very least, suggest a name. We'll see what they end up going with later this summer but it's not going to be Namey McNameface (well there's always that possibility but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be that). Google did, however, unofficially confirmed the next number version of Android in this dev preview. If we make our way to developer options and turn on demo mode and show demo mode, you'll see in the upper right hand corner the clock is a 7. This correlates to the number of Android, Android 7.0 N, whatever N is. Previous dev preview of Android Marshmallow, the clock read 6:00, which translates to Android 6.0 so Android N is likely not going to be Android 6.1 N. It's going to have its own number.
So we see the Quick Reply feature in the past dev preview but it continues to get better and better. And it continues to work with apps. For example, if you received a Direct Message via Twitter, you can send a quick reply straight from the notification panel itself. And this works with other apps not just Twitter. But there’s no need to open up the app itself. It just works buttery smooth. You even get a nice Material Design animation. How about that?
In addition, we’ll find that many more bugs have been squashed in this update. Specifically we’ll see that the multi-tasking or overview tray just performs much better, much smoother. So you can press and hold on an app to toggle the split-screen functionality. You just drag and drop one app to one side of the screen and it works just like that. You can multitask just like that. You’ve got to say, this feature works so much better than it did in the past updates. It’s a lot less buggy. Most of the bugs are from the apps themselves. Once the developers officially add split-screen support, the feature should run even better. But the last thing worth mentioning, it’s not a feature; they actually removed the Calculator quick settings dial. I’m not sure why but they did.
I do want to mention a couple of things that I can’t really show you in video, which is why we’re just going to talk here. Now with the fourth Developer Preview of Android N, Google has included the Android N final SDK with final APIs. So what this means is that developers can start working on apps for Android N and they’ll be ready to go on day one of the official Android N launch. They don’t have to risk Google making any changes, their apps will be ready to go.
The other thing worth mentioning is the fact that Google has removed support for pressure sensitive screens. “Launcher shortcuts” was Google’s answer to 3D Touch but apparently Google’s plans have changed since they’ve completely removed the launcher shortcuts APIs. I’m optimistic they have something better in mind but we’re just going to have to wait and see.
With that said, those are all the features of the fourth Developer Preview of Android N, not the most exciting preview. But hey, what is exciting is the fact that the consumer launch of Android N (the official version) is going to be launching later this summer.