During the three day on-going Google I/O conference, the search giant has announced the next developer preview of Android N, which the company calls an extension of Android into virtual reality , an update to Android Studio and more.
Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android, took the stage to discuss Android N, which, surprisingly, still doesn’t have a name. Burke admitted that the company has been struggling to come up with a name, so it’s giving the fans a chance to come up with a name (though Google reserves the right to pick a winner).
Android N Performance
Burke said that Android N uses a graphics API called Vulcan and has a lower GPU overhead, which should make everything run smoother. With the software’s JIT compiler, apps will install 75% faster and the compiled code size will be reduced by 50%. Good news for developers and users alike.
Android N Security
Burke discussed three ways that Android N will improve security:
- File-based encryption
- Media-hardening framework
- Seamless updates
That last one should be especially exciting for Android users, because it means they’ll never have to see an update dialog notification ever again. System images will download automatically from now on.
Burke explained how the recent apps carousel is undergoing a bit of an overhaul, with recent apps beyond the last seven you’ve used going into a list. There will also be a ‘Clear All’ button, which might be the best thing that Google has announced at the entire event so far.
At least, it was the most exciting, until Burke revealed that split screen mode would be coming to both Android phones and tablets. A long tap on the square button allows Android N users to open two screens at a time. In addition, Google is introducing Picture-in-Picture for Android TV.
Finally, Burke announced that direct replies will give users the ability to respond to notifications without actually opening the app and Unicode 9 emoji support, with emoji that look less like monstrous blobs.
How to get Android N right now
Beginning today, anyone and everyone with a compatible Nexus device can download and install a new Android N beta packed with all the new features Google announced on Wednesday. Want to download it, simply visit https://g.co/androidbeta and sign up. After logging in, you’ll be able to download the new Android N beta and install it on your phone or tablet.