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Android N preview 4 (NPD56N) live now: Official & unreported Changes

Google has now pushed Android N Developer Preview 4 OTA to those enrolled to Android Beta program. If you have a supported device you can enroll to Android N Beta program by clicking here. The latest build doesn’t bring any major new features / UI changes as per the official changelog but we noted few changes that we have reported below under “unreported changes”.

Watch our Android N Developer Preview 4 Hands-on video and read our Impressions & Unreported Changes demo by clicking here.

You can read the full massive changelog including all new features and changes of Android N by clicking here.

Supported Devices for Android Developer Preview 4:

Developer Preview 3 is available on all supported devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, General Mobile 4G (Android One), as well as Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653 models).

Android Developer Preview 4 unreported Changelog:

  • Wi-Fi / Mobile Data toggle icon in action center now opens the settings on tapping and doesn’t toggle it on / off. Bit undesirable feature.
  • Calculator tile / Notification center icon (that appeared in DP3) has gone missing
  • The Blue Keyboard theme has entry key color changed from Red to Blue
  • Once upon a time Android VP Dave Burke jokingly offered “Namey McNameface” for Android N. On Developer Preiew 4, the Easter Egg has been updated to reflect that name.Namey McNameface Android N

Android Developer Preview 4 official Changelog:

Android N final APIs

Developer Preview 4 includes the final APIs for the upcoming Android N platform. The new API level is 24.

Play publishing

You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.

Android Studio and tools updates

Along with Developer Preview 4 we’re providing the final API 24 SDK to be used with Android Studio 2.1.2 and higher. In addition, we’re releasing updated Developer Preview 4 system images for the emulator to help test your apps.

As new updates roll out for Android Studio, you should see minor improvements in the new project wizards and AVD manager as we add enhanced support for API 24. These are primarily cosmetic changes and should not stop you from getting your app ready for an update in the Play store.

Feature and API changes
  • In previous versions of Android, an app activates with all of its locale resources loaded before locale negotiation begins. Starting in Android N DP4, the system negotiates resource locales individually for each resource object before the app activates.
  • As announced at Developer Preview 3, we’ve deferred the Launcher Shortcuts feature to a later release of Android. In Developer Preview 4, we’ve removed the Launcher Shortcuts APIs.
  • We’ve changed the BLE Scanning behavior starting in DP4. We’ll prevent applications from starting and stopping scans more than 5 times in 30 seconds. For long running scans, we’ll convert them into opportunistic scans.
  • The Multi-Window android:minimalHeight and android:minimalWidth attributes have been renamed to android:minHeight and android:minWidth.

Known Issues

  • Users may encounter system instability (such as kernel panics and crashes).
  • The default launcher’s All Apps tray may become unresponsive after cycling the screen off and on. Returning to the homescreen and relaunching the All Apps tray may resolve this issue.
Setup Wizard
  • Crash on selecting “Not now” in “Set up email” screen.
  • Media playback may be unreliable on Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, including issues playing HD video.
  • Occasional freeze when running the YouTube app with other apps in multi-window mode on Pixel C devices. In some cases hard reboot is required.
  • Apps may have issues playing some Widevine DRM-protected content on Nexus 9 devices.
  • Issues handling VP8 video on Nexus 9 devices.
External storage
  • Apps may become unstable when the user moves them from internal storage to adoptable external storage (this can include SD card or devices attached over USB).
Screen zoom and multiple APKs in Google Play
  • On devices running Android N, Google Play services 9.0.83 incorrectly reports the current screen density rather than the stable screen density. When screen zoom is enabled on these devices, this can cause Google Play to select a version of a multi-APK app that’s designed for smaller screens. This issue is fixed in the next version of Google Play services and will be included in a later Developer Preview release.
Vulkan support and multiple APKs in Google Play
  • On devices running Android N, Google Play services 9.0.83 currently reports Vulkan support but not Vulkan version. This can cause Google Play to select a version of a multi-APK app that’s designed for lower Vulkan support on devices with higher version support. Currently, the Google Play Store does not accept uploads of apps which use Vulkan version targeting. This support will be added to the Google Play Store in the future and fixed in the next version of Google Play services (to be included in a later Developer Preview release). Any N devices using the version of Google Play services 9.0.83 will continue to receive versions of apps targeting basic Vulkan support.
  • Switch access doesn’t allow user to navigate web pages in Chrome.
  • Accessibility issues for talkback users with notification dismissal, and wifi selection screen.
Android for Work
  • Currently, CA certificates provisioned through DevicePolicyManager are not available to profiles other than the primary user/profile due to a preload issue. For example, this could prevent a user from connecting to a trusted server when in a Work profile. This issue will be resolved in the next Developer Preview.

Fixes for issues reported by developers

A number of issues reported by developers have been fixed, including:

  • The active network state (NetworkInfo.getState() and NetworkInfo.getDetailedState()) might return incorrect values during some restricted background scenarios

  • Data Saver restricts the foreground MMS mobile network request (bug 208478)

  • Quick settings tiles and notifications sometimes unresponsive

  • Unable to dismiss Clock notifications

  • Duplication of bluetooth icon and other status icons

  • Additional bluetooth connectivity fixes

Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and Nokiapoweruser since long. He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing. Write to him at Email: [email protected]