Google Android N Developer Preview update: Here are the top new features

Google’s Android N Developer Preview has gotten its second update today, which comes with bug fixes and improved features. Google’s Android N update is available for download to those who are registered in the Android Beta program.

Google’s blog post on the update reads, “Just visit g.co/androidbeta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet — you’ll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air. If you’ve already enrolled your device, you’ll receive the update shortly, no action is needed on your part. You can also download and flash this update manually. Developer Preview 2 is intended for developers and not as a daily driver; this build is not yet optimized for performance and battery life.”

Some of the bugs fixed by the Android N developer preview are inability to connect to hidden Wi-Fi networks, multiwindow pauses, and direct reply closing an open activity. The new features that the latest update brings are:

Vulkan 3D rendering API which is 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.” Google says that with Android N, they have made Vulkan a part of the platform.

Launcher shortcuts are also part of Android N and 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 the app. Android N also brings support for Emoji Unicode 9.

Some of the other new features of Android N include multi-window support, which will show more than one app at a time, interactive notifications which allows users to respond to the alert from the notification shade itself, without going to the app itself. Google’s Android N also come with more background optimisation and a data saver feature. Google says that when a user enables Data Saver in Settings, and the device is on a metered network, the system blocks background data usage, and signals apps to use less data in the foreground wherever possible.