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"By releasing a “work in progress” build earlier in development, we have more time to incorporate developer feedback. Also, the earlier preview allows us to hand off the final N release to device makers this summer, so they can get their hands on the latest version of Android earlier than ever. We’re looking forward to getting your feedback as you get your apps ready for N," said Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google in a blog post.
If you're looking forward to buying the next Nexus flagship which, in all probability, will be manufactured by HTC, then you should be particularly interested in Android N. However, since the new OS will eventually reach a majority of phones by next year, its a great time for developers to review the early build and offer suggestions to Google which can possibly be incorporated in the new OS by next month.
Here's how Android N (developer preview) differs from the existing Android Marshmallow which saw the light of the day in September last year.
Split screen settings that are usually available in tablets will be available in smartphones too. You will also be able to switch between portrait and landscape modes.
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Android N will also support picture-in-picture mode on devices like TVs, which means you will be able to connect your smartphone to your TV and play videos via apps optimised for Android N. This is especially significant since Apple has already taken a lead on this front with new multi-window features in iOS 9.
While Marshmallow offers easy viewing and handling of notifications through swipe options, Android N will take things a bit further by giving you the ability to reply to text messages directly from the notifications panel in your smartphone or tablet. This feature is available in Android Wear and lets you text quickly and conveniently without having to open the messaging app.
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Android N will also offer bundled notifications wherein multiple notifications from the same app can be grouped together. This will let you prioritize notifications and sort them in terms of relevance.
Android Marshmallow introduced a Standby mode wherein all your idle yet open apps will be shut down to save battery, provided that the apps have remained idle for a certain period of time. It also brought in a Doze mode which closed down several internal functions of your phone like searching for mails or automatic app updates. Working only when your phone is unplugged, it can shut down all background apps except essential ones like alarms and calendar schedules to save maximum battery life when you're not using your phone.
Google has sought to further improve your phone's battery life with Android N. The new OS will implement the Doze feature whenever you turn your phone's or tablet's screen off. This way, you will be able to save a lot of battery and prolong your smartphone's life.