The next iteration of Google’s Android is rolling out slowly and several devices have already received the update. If you’re one of the owner of the Google’s Nexus lineup, then you should have already received the update. If you have a phone or tablet from other manufacturers then you need to wait a bit longer as they have to rework on their own software and push it to their users which will apparently take several months. However, manufacturers such as the LG and HTC promised that their handsets will run Android 7.0 Nougat in November, earlier than Sony. Motorola already seeding the latest OS to its smartphones- Moto G Plus (4th Gen) and Moto G (4th Gen), which will be soon followed by their other smartphones as well.
After digging around Android N for a while, we found a lot of new features provided with the new update. And, here are the top five features of Android N, which are worth noticing!
If we were to talk about one of the highlight of Android N, then Multi-window will surely top the list. With Android N, Google has finally managed to deliver the Split screen support, which allows users to work on two different apps simultaneously. To enable this all you have to do is to long press the recent apps button and you have the choice to open the other app in the other half of the screen. Interestingly, you can even resize the apps for the better fit. One thing to be considered here is the second app has to already be running in the background. This might be pretty annoying.
After the Multi-window feature, there’s an another interesting feature called ‘Quick Switch’, which allows you to work much faster and more efficient during multi-tasking. It is something similar to windows ALT+TAB feature. Double tap the recent apps button to quickly jump back to the previous app you were using. It’s a small change, but huge in terms of workflow.
Quick settings in Notification Bar
All stock android users, have you ever dreamt of having quick settings when you pull down notifications to instantly activate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, flight Mode and so forth. Instead of swiping two times to activate those, Google has finally fulfilled the wish of many users by adding them to the notification drawer itself. Similar to what we have seen from Samsung and other manufacturers for a long time, Google now implemented the same quick settings toggles to the top of the notification pull bar. The best news is that all the buttons are small which leaves a plenty of space for the notifications.
Also, a second swipe down gives you full settings which are now paginated and customizable. You won’t need system UI tuner to step in.
Direct Reply and Bundled Notifications
Users can now reply to any notification right from the notification bar. It worked well for iPhone or iPad, but Apple limited this feature to its iMessage app. Google made a step further and introduced its direct reply notifications beyond Hangouts. This means most popular apps like WhatsApp, Skype, etc could take this advantage.
Also, Google Introduced Bundled notifications, meaning notification cards from the same app are grouped together and are expanded by tapping the all-new Expansion Button. Basically, this is opposite of what Apple did in iOS 9. It switched from grouping messages by app to displaying them chronologically. You can now long press any notification to silence future notifications or turn them off completely.
Google introduced Doze mode with Android Marshmallow and with Android N, the feature has been further refined and saves more battery. Google has specially added a new algorithm, which saves 30 percent more battery than the Android Marshmallow.
There are lot more small features that are implemented in Android N. Google has changed the way settings app look. It is now much smarter. Swiping from left at any screen gives you a hamburger menu of all settings. Google has changed the visuals of folders. We can now see all the apps that are in the folder clearly and we can now set a different wallpaper for the home screen and the lock screen.
There’s a new feature which is being introduced in the Android N is instant apps. With instant apps, users will be able to access certain part of the app without ever downloading or installing it. With Android N, Google also bought support to Unicode, which will introduce 72 new emoji’s.
Google also introduced seamless updates, which automatically download the update in the background and alerts the user that the update will be applied at the next reboot. The Google keyboard now has an option to send GIF’s in any conversation.
An excellent new feature in the new Android N is the app shortcuts. It is something similar to 3D touch in iPhone. Long pressing on the app Icons gives you several commands. For example, long pressing on the camera icon pop out with “Take a video” and “Take a selfie”. However, this feature is only limited to Google’s Pixel smartphones.