As the Google I/O approaches, the highly anticipated Android N launch also nears. During last year’s I/O Google confirmed that it will be releasing new major Android updates annually. Thus, for 2016 we expect the upcoming I/O to present the Android N developer preview, which hopefully will be followed up by monthly updates before the full official Android 7.0 is released in October. Here are what we know so far, from what has already been confirmed, rumors to the Android N features we expect.
Confirmed Android N features
Android N release date
Android N is expected to be released on May 18 at the Google I/O 2016 which is an annual developer conference held by Google. The developer preview of the Android N will be displayed on the first day of the conference with the factory images being made available later on the same day.
The official and final release of the Android 7.0 will happen simultaneously to the launch of the next generation Nexus variants slated for late October or early October. The Android 7 update will initially be exclusive to Nexus devices and then released to the different devices from all other OEMs along with carrier networks in the course of the preceding six months or so.
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A muti-window mode was the first feature promised, with the confirmation being made by the Pixel C team via a Reddit AMA, with Andrew Bowers stating that a ‘split screen’ should indeed be expected. Though, the Android Marshmallow version already offers a stock multi-window, it is far from perfect.
Improved tablet support
At the same Reddit AMA, Glen Murphy a member of the Pixel C team disclosed that a variety of enhancements were on the way, with some being Android N features intended for tablets including better multi-tasking, apps optimized for tablets, navigation buttons that can be customized, native floating mini-apps, System UI Tuner features specific to tablets, and DPI switcher.
Move from Java APIs to OpenJDK
In Android N, Google plans to officially make the move from Java APIs to OpenJDK following a complication with Oracle related to Java APIs that had been ‘rewritten’. It will remain an Oracle code, though OpenJDK will be an element of the open-source Java Development Kit.
Rumored Android N features
Android N name
The guess game of who will be making the Nexus 2016 releases is almost as big as what the N in Android N stands for. But like the previous releases, it is likely that the N could stand for your favorite dessert. Currently, the Android 7.0 Nutella is a favorite with Nougat coming in second, with a variety of other dessert names following.
Stock stylus support
Samsung has already hinted that a new stock support for stylus may be coming with Android N with plans to eliminate a few of the main S Pen functionalities from its own Look API. Samsung notes in its developers page that these features may be soon deprecated in Android N. The obvious assumption is that these stylus features will come with the stock Android 7.0. This has also been seen with battery saving and fingerprint support with the release of Lollipop and Marshmallow respectively.
Chrome OS integration
After the Wall Street Journal came out saying that a Android and Chrome OS merging will soon happen, Google responded by revealing its intention to find efforts of bringing the best both operating systems together. Perhaps, Android N will present some integration of Android and Chrome OS compatibility.
New messaging app
Another rumour going round, is that Google’s Android N will bring forth a new comprehensive messaging app to take over the place of the relatively unpopular Hangouts app integration. Based on Rich Communications Services platform, the app is said to allow calls, texts, video chats, instant messaging and file sharing.
What features are you expecting from Android N? Let us know in the comments.
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