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.

Source: Google

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!