Android N developer preview update delivers bugfixes, Vulkan API support, more natural-looking emoji
Last month, Google surprised Android devs everywhere with an early treat, releasing its initial Android N preview months in advance of this year’s Google I/O. While far from a finished package, the Android N release was already capable of showing off some of its biggest features, including the long-awaited Android split-screen multitasking mode. Another noteworthy change concerned how Google would update its developer preview, allowing interested users to register for the Android Beta Program and get Android N developer preview updates delivered OTA to their compatible Nexus hardware. Now Google’s taking advantage of that system as it announces its latest Android N developer preview update.
As should be no surprise, this release is chock full of bugfixes: those include issues with multi-window support, direct reply interactions, and support for hidden WiFi networks. That’s just a taste, though, and Google refers us to its public Android N bugtracker where we can see dozens of other issues that have already been addressed.
On the feature set, Google’s taken steps to implement the high-performance Vulkan graphics API we first learned about last year. Devs will also discover new API methods that take advantage of Android N abilities like its split-screen mode, and the ability to create launcher shortcuts to Intents within apps (as some alternate launchers have already enabled).
Finally, Google shares news of a revamped design language it’s using for Android’s emoji library, dialing down the cartoonish look of the past and going for characters with a (slightly) more “human” appearance to them (above).
Users registered with the Android Beta Program should be getting this update OTA, while updated system images exist for those interested in a manual installation.