Top 5 Features of Android N

Google posted a huge surprise by putting up the Android N Developer Preview for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 5 and the Nexus Player. In an age when the latest updates come through leaks and rumours, Google completely took the tech industry by surprise with news of the Android N developer launch. We’ve gone through the list of upgrades and think these features will definitely be to your liking.


Multi-Window Support 



Perhaps the most defining feature of the new upgrade is multi-window support. This will allow you to run multiple apps side-by-side in the same view. There isn’t much clarity around the feature but it is expected to work like the split-screen feature that was first introduced in Windows 8.1 by Microsoft. The split will be top to bottom on phone screens until you switch it to Landscape mode where it will be split from left to right. One important feature to note is that apps will have to upgrade to work in the new format.


Notifications Got More Powerful





Android has had issues with the Notifications tab in earlier editions. With Android N, the Notifications tab becomes a whole lot better with the ability to respond to any notification without opening the app. For example, you can reply to text messages with the Direct Reply Feature without opening Messages. There is also something called as Bundled Notifications that groups actions such as Archive or Dismiss together. If you’ve used Inbox before, you’ll know how this works.



Dark Mode returns in Android N!







All hail the return of Dark Mode! Or as it is called in Android N, Night Mode. Following its removal form the Android M preview builds last year, a lot of us have been waiting a long time to see the return of a dark mode in stock Android. The Android team has made it worth the wait though, by not just offering a dark system-wide theme, but also adding some cool new features too, like tint control to limit the amount of blue light in your display (great for allowing you to sleep after playing on your phone late at night). Night Mode can be enabled automatically at certain times of day and there’s an automatic brightness limiting option as well. This was definitely worth waiting for.


Data Saver




Over the life of a smartphone, the cost of a cellular data plan can easily exceed the cost of the device itself. In the N Developer Preview, users can enable Data Saver on a device-wide basis in order to use less data, whether roaming, near the end of the billing cycle, or on a small prepaid data pack.

When a user enables Data Saver in Settings and the device is on a metered network, the system blocks background data usage and signals apps to use less data in the foreground wherever possible. Users can whitelist specific apps to allow background metered data usage even when Data Saver is turned on.


TV  Recording




TV input services let the user pause and resume channel playback via time-shifting APIs. Android N expands on time-shifting by letting the user save multiple recorded sessions.

Users can schedule recordings in advance, or start a recording as they watch a program. Once the system has saved a recording, the user can browse, manage, and play back the recording using the system TV app.

Project Svelte






Project Svelte is Google’s attempt to minimise RAM usage by Android and apps on devices. In Android N, Project Svelte will help apps run effectively in the background. “In Android N, we’re removing three commonly-used implicit broadcasts — Connectivity_Action, Action_New_Picture, and Action_New_Video — since those can wake the background processes of multiple apps at once and strain memory and battery,” Google writes on the Android developers page.


Dozier Doze


Doze and permissions got better in Android N. Background processes can be memory- and battery-intensive. For example, an implicit broadcast may start many background processes that have registered to listen for it, even if those processes may not do much work. This can have a substantial impact on both device performance and user experience.

To alleviate this issue, Android N applies some restrictions on the apps.

The app optimisation process is also faster in Android N.


Conclusion


We have always been of the belief that Android Marshmallow is what Android Lollipop should have been. It has been about 6 months since the release of Marshmallow, but according to Google, Marshmallow is currently running only on 2.3% of Android devices across the globe. The early release of Android N clearly hints at Google's efforts to move on quickly from Marshmallow to Android N, so that the final version of Android N can be available to OEMs and Android lovers earlier than the previous versions of Android. This will also help developers to get their hands on Android N earlier than the last year, and develop their apps accordingly. 

As far as the features are concerned, Android N Preview builds look quite promising, but as we say, the expectations never end, and so are ours' from Android N. Personally, we would like to see an inbuilt theme engine and a lot more customizatons, but we don't think that this will be possible till Android O.



What are your impressions about Android N? Do you like the update on your device? What new feature are you really excited about, and hope to see in the public release? What bugs have you found? Let us know your thoughts on Android N in the comments below!

Krittin Kalra is a 19 year old Android freak. Striving for passions, chasing down his dreams and living a life without regrets is his sole mantra. A bit moody, he also does custom ROM reviews for AndroGuider. Currently pursuing his B.Tech, he aspires to follow his heart.
Top 5 Features of Android N Top 5 Features of Android N Reviewed by Krittin Kalra on 3/19/2016 10:34:00 pm
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