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Google Releases Android N Developer Preview

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Download the preview for the next Android version!

Google has quite unexpectedly dropped the Android N Developer preview recently, a few weeks ahead of schedule. Usually the search giant announces the developer preview for the next iteration of Android right after the developer conference I/O, that’s scheduled to take place later this May.

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Speaking to Medium earlier, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s SVP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast says that the decision to release the preview earlier was in part because of their team’s desire to get more feedback from Android devs and get the final N release to manufacturers earlier.

So what’s changed from Marshmallow? Well, one of the new improvements in Android N is how the OS handles notifications. N now uses direct reply notifications, allowing users to reply to incoming notifications right from the notifications shade. Apps can now also group notifications together to save space, useful when you’re getting bombarded by email, for example.

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Another big feature that’s coming is split-screen view, which have been implemented by other companies through custom UI overlays- Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, for example. The new feature will be applicable to both tablets and phones, though an app has to support it to work. There’s also a PIP feature for video apps as well.

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Doze already made a big impact in battery life for Android Marshmallow, and the company is looking to improve that in Android N by allowing Doze to decrease battery usage when the display is off. On the optimizations side, Google is looking to make Android less of a memory hog, leading to a more efficient OS that requires less power to run.

If you own a Nexus smartphone, you can get Android N build as an OTA here. You can also download it directly from Google here.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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