Android N is the new big update to the Android system which will be probably revealed during Google I/O this year in May. However, Google already rolled out its Developer Preview last month for few Nexus devices. The update brought so many new features compared to current Marshmallow system.
Today Google has rolled out Developer Preview 2 which is now available to Download for Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One) devices. In the version 1 we got some interesting features such as Multi-window support, Data Saver, Background and Notification enhancements, and some more. While in this Developer Preview v2 we get new 3D rendering API, Launcher shortcuts, Emoji Unicode 9 support and lots more.
You can install Android N Developer Preview 2 right away on your any of the above mentioned Nexus device by download the Preview and installing it manually. If you have enrolled for the Android Beta Program, then you can get this via OTA update.
Developer Preview 2 Change log:
- Vulkan: Vulkan is a new 3D rendering API which we’ve helped to develop as a member of Khronos, geared at providing explicit, low-overhead GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) control to developers and offers a significant boost in performance for draw-call heavy applications. Vulkan’s reduction of CPU overhead allows some synthetic benchmarks to see as much as 10 times the draw-call throughput on a single core as compared to OpenGL ES. Combined with a threading-friendly API design which allows multiple cores to be used in parallel with high efficiency, this offers a significant boost in performance for draw-call heavy applications. With Android N, we’ve made Vulkan a part of the platform; you can try it out on supported devices running Developer Preview 2.
- Launcher shortcuts: Now, apps can define shortcuts which users can expose in the launcher to help them perform actions quicker. These shortcuts contain an Intent into specific points within your app (like sending a message to your best friend, navigating home in a mapping app, or playing the next episode of a TV show in a media app). An application can publish shortcuts with ShortcutManager.setDynamicShortcuts(List) and ShortcutManager.addDynamicShortcut(ShortcutInfo), and launchers can be expected to show 3-5 shortcuts for a given app.
- Emoji Unicode 9 support: We are introducing a new emoji design for people emoji that moves away from our generic look in favor of a more human-looking design. If you’re a keyboard or messaging app developer, you should start incorporating these emoji into your apps. The update also introduces support for skin tone variations and Unicode 9 glyphs, like the bacon, selfie and face palm. You can dynamically check for the new emoji characters using Paint.hasGlyph().
- API changes: This update includes API changes as we continue to refine features such as multi-window support (you can now specify a separate minimum height and minimum width for an activity), notifications, and others. For details, take a look at the diff reports available in the downloadable API reference package.
- Bug fixes: We’ve resolved a number of issues throughout the system, including these fixes for issues that you’ve reported through the public issue tracker. Please continue to let us know what you find and follow along with the known issues.