Android N: What We Know So Far


The ‘freeform mode’ Android N’s could allow the user to resize app windows. The focus of Android N is to be the best Android release that has ever been released and offers many many improvements along with new features.

Here’s what we know to date about the Google’s next mobile operating system.

This mode is talked about in detail in the operating system in the guide for developers. It allows the user to change the default window sizes and positions of apps. It is intended for use with larger devices, where making an app window smaller would mean it was still readable.

The document reads: “Manufacturers of larger devices can choose to enable freeform mode, in which the user can freely resize each activity. If the manufacturer enables this feature, the device offers freeform mode in addition to split-screen mode.”

Android N device availability and release date

Android N OS

On 9 March Google made the preview version of Android N available. Generally, the first look at a new Android OS occurs at Google I/O, scheduled to occur May 18, 2016.

Even with the anticipated preview happening earlier than thought, we will likely still see some additional features of the new OS at the show. Google says that we can expect the final preview version by the summer, which is much quicker than we have seen in past years.

The final version of the code, which is the one consumers will get, should be released sometime in October, near to the time the new Nexus device is released.

Over the next couple of weeks after the rollout to consumers, it will be released to existing Nexus devices. We anticipate Android N to be on the Samsung S7 sometime in 2017.

Android N name

Android N news

It is a long standing tradition to name the Android operating system after a confectionery connotation, so we can only guess what the name will be – maybe a dessert, may a sweets.

These names are generic. The only exception has been KitKat, which is a brand. Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP Android, Chrome OS & Chromecast at Google hinted in a Medium post that the next version of Android may be named after yet another confectionery brand; specifically Nutella.

“So, the burning question that’s on everyone’s mind: what will the N release be named? We’re nut tellin’ you yet,” he said.

Android N developer preview

Android N name

There is a developer preview available to download offering numerous features like multiple window support and notification enhancements.

Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering, described the preview as a “work in progress”, so expect it to be a little rough in places.

“We’re doing something a little different this year by releasing the preview early… really early,” Google vice president of engineering Dave Burke said in a blog post.

Android N features

Android N specs

Android N will offer a new feature referred to as Multi-window, allowing multiple windows on a single display. The attribute called android:resizableActivity targets apps N and later.

When users enable this, you can put apps into a split-screen mode. The feature works when users switch from landscape to portrait mode. The apps should have the ability to reconfigure themselves. Apps can also go into picture-in-picture mode on some devices such as TVs.

Android N hopes to get more life out of your device’s battery while your screen is turned off, like with Doze in Marshmallow, which will save your battery when the device is stationary. In an effort to reduce the needs of the Android’s memory, so that it has the ability to run a greater number of devices, Doze has a new feature to save battery life as part of Project Svelte.

There are a few enhancements to notifications. Android N lets the user receive incoming message notifications quickly and conveniently, without ever having to leave the notification shade.

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