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Android Nougat Preview: Changelog (Includes DP5), New features & Release Timelines

Details about Android N (Android Nougat) new features, Changes & Release Timelines have been revealed now from the official Developer Preview changelog and documentation. We have added new leaked and revealed features from other sources too who have explored the developer preview.

We have covered all the Android N official changes, new features, images, leaks, Release Timelines and more in this dedicated article. You can however read our full Android N coverage by clicking here.

Android N (Android Nougat) Release Date (Timelines):

As per a latest report via Canadian carrier Telus, Android Nougat update for Huawei Nexus 6P and LG Nexus 5X should be out on August 22. So this means that the Android Nougat update will be rolled out on the Same day by Google.

n-preview-updates_2x

Android N developer preview runs from 9 March until the final release. Final release of Android N is planned in Q3 2016. During this time, Android N will tested in 5 stages, then it will reach to the final stage for public release.

We very well know that Google uses its  Google I/O, the annual developer conference held in May for announcing major yearly Android updates. So in all likelihood the Android N developer preview will be launched in May 2016 at the developer conference. It will keep pushing smaller updates afterward till the final version comes before new Nexus devices launch in 2016. We can again make an educated guess of late September or early October for the final version, that Vendors may start pushing for their older deices after launch of Nexus devices.

Android Nougat Preview:

Android Nougat Developer Preview 5 Full Changelog & Hands-on

Read Android N Developer Preview 5 Full Coverage here. Watch the hands-on impressions video below.

Unreported Changes:

Easter Egg Android Neko

Android N Nougat Easter Egg Dev peview 5

There is one Easter Egg in Android Nougat Dev Preview 5 too and it is funnier than Easter Eggs seen on Dev Preview 4 and more like a mini game. Google has termed it Android Neko and as you can guess it a Cat collection game on the lines of “Neko Atsume”.

As you can see in the screenshots above you can collect and even share the collected Cat with friends. You can read about how to get this Easter Egg game working by clicking here.

Camera Apps changes

Android N Nougat Camera changes

With the Android Nougat Dev Preview 5.0, the camera app has seen many UI tweaks and some animations have also changed. As you can see in the screenshot above you can now set what the volume key does. Similarly there are changes in how the toggles appear.

Quick-Action Toggle behavior changed:

Toggles like WiFi and Mobile Data are back to their good behavior as before DP4 and now tapping on them switches them on / off. On DP4 these action buttons used to throw a mini menu on tapping.

Apps have their Installation source info:

Android N app installation details

If you go to settings and check any of the apps, you will get information about its installation source (whether store or else) at the bottom. Check the screenshot above.

Android Nougat Developer Preview 4 Full Changelog & Hands-on

Unreported Changes:

  • 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.

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.

 

Android Nougat Developer Preview 3 Full Changelog & Hands-on

Unreported Changes:

  • Dark Theme has been removed in Developer Preview 3

Official Changelog:

System Updates in Background:

Android N also adds some important new features to help keep users safer and more secure. Inspired by how Chromebooks apply updates, we’re introducing seamless updates, so that new Android devices built on N can install system updates in the background. This means that the next time a user powers up their device, new devices can automatically and seamlessly switch into the new updated system image.

VR Mode in Android  
Android was built for today’s multi-screen world; in fact, Android powers your phone, your tablet, the watch on your wrist, it even works in your car and in your living room, all the while helping you move seamlessly between each device. As we look to what’s next, we believe your phone can be a really powerful new way to see the world and experience new content virtually, in a more immersive way; but, until this point, high quality mobile VR wasn’t possible across the Android ecosystem. That’s why we’ve worked at all levels of the Android stack in N–from how the operating system reads sensor data to how it sends pixels to the display–to make it especially built to provide high quality mobile VR experiences, with VR Mode in Android. There are a number of performance enhancements designed for developers, including single buffer rendering and access to an exclusive CPU core for VR apps. Within your apps, you can take advantage of smooth head-tracking and stereo notifications that work for VR. Most importantly, Android N provides for very low latency graphics; in fact, motion-to-photon latency on Nexus 6P running Developer Preview 3 is <20 ms, the speed necessary to establish immersion for the user to feel like they are actually in another place. We’ll be covering all of the new VR updates tomorrow at 9AM PT in the VR at Google session, livestreamed from Google I/O.

Android Instant Apps: real apps, without the installation 
We want to make it easier for users to discover and use your apps. So what if your app was just a tap away? What if users didn’t have to install it at all? Today, we’re introducing Android Instant Apps as part of our effort to evolve the way we think about apps. Whether someone discovers your app from search, social media, messaging or other deep links, they’ll be able to experience a fast and powerful native Android app without needing to stop and install your app first or reauthenticate. Best of all, Android Instant Apps is compatible with all Android devices running Jellybean or higher (4.1+) with Google Play services. Android Instant Apps functionality is an upgrade to your existing Android app, not a new, separate app; you can sign-up to request early access to the documentation.

Android Wear 2.0: UI changes and standalone apps  
This morning at Google I/O, we also announced the most significant Android Wear update since its launch two years ago: Android Wear 2.0. Based on what we’ve learned from users and developers, we’re evolving the platform to improve key watch experiences: watch faces, messaging, and fitness. We’re also making a number of UI changes and updating our design guidelines to make your apps more consistent, intuitive, and beautiful.  With Android Wear 2.0, apps can be standalone and have direct network access to the cloud via a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular connection.  Since your app won’t have to rely on the Data Layer APIs, it can continue to offer full functionality even if the paired phone is far away or turned off. You can read about all of the new features available in today’s preview here.

Android Nougat Developer Preview 2 Full Changelog

Official Changelog:

Last month’s Developer Preview introduced a host of new features, like Multi-window, bundled notifications and more. This preview builds on those and includes a few new ones:

  • Vulkan: Vulkan is a new 3D rendering API which we’ve helped to develop as a member of Khronos, 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. Vulkan’s reduction of CPU overhead allows some synthetic benchmarks to see as much as 10 times the draw-call throughput on a single core as compared to OpenGL ES. Combined with a threading-friendly API design which allows multiple cores to be used in parallel with high efficiency, this offers a significant boost in performance for draw-call heavy applications. With Android N, we’ve made Vulkan a part of the platform; you can try it out on supported devices running Developer Preview 2. Read more here. Vulkan Developer Tools blog here.
  • Launcher shortcuts: Now, 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 your app (like sending a message to your best friend, navigating home in a mapping app, or playing the next episode of a TV show in a media app).An application can publish shortcuts with ShortcutManager.setDynamicShortcuts(List) and ShortcutManager.addDynamicShortcut(ShortcutInfo), and launchers can be expected to show 3-5 shortcuts for a given app.
  • Emoji Unicode 9 support: We are introducing a new emoji design for people emoji that moves away from our generic look in favor of a more human-looking design. If you’re a keyboard or messaging app developer, you should start incorporating these emoji into your apps. The update also introduces support for skin tone variations and Unicode 9 glyphs, like the bacon, selfie and face palm. You can dynamically check for the new emoji characters using Paint.hasGlyph().

Android N P2 Emoji

  • API changes: This update includes API changes as we continue to refine features such as multi-window support (you can now specify a separate minimum height and minimum width for an activity), notifications, and others. For details, take a look at the diff reports available in the downloadable API reference package.
  • Bug fixes: We’ve resolved a number of issues throughout the system, including these fixes for issues that you’ve reported through the public issue tracker. Please continue to let us know what you find and follow along with the known issues here.

Unreported Changes:

  • Clear all Button in Recent apps list, though you need to scroll all the way to top to access it
  • Now you can do quick reply from Home-screen and enable that from settings in the notifications section of the settings app. Click Notifications > Gear Icon to configure them to be on or off.

Android N DP2

  • A new look for App folders

Folders Android N DP2

  • A new Quick Settings tile for calculator

Android Nougat Developer Preview 1 Full Changelog

 Multi-Windows Support:

Read our tutorial to know how to activated and use Multi-Windows feature.

Android N mw-splitscreen

Android N adds support for displaying more than one app at the same time. On handheld devices, two apps can run side-by-side or one-above-the-other in split-screen mode. On TV devices, apps can use picture-in-picture mode to continue video playback while users are interacting with another app.

Android N allows several apps to share the screen at once. For example, a user could split the screen, viewing a web page on the left side while composing an email on the right side. The user experience depends on the device:

  • Handheld devices running Android N offer split-screen mode. In this mode, the system fills the screen with two apps, showing them either side-by-side or one-above-the-other. The user can drag the dividing line separating the two to make one app larger and the other smaller.
  • On Nexus Player running Android N, apps can put themselves in picture-in-picture mode, allowing them to continue showing content while the user browses or interacts with other apps.
  • Manufacturers of larger devices can choose to enable freeform mode, in which the user can freely resize each activity. If the manufacturer enables this feature, the device offers freeform mode in addition to split-screen mode.

The user can switch into multi-window mode in the following ways:

  • If the user opens the Overview screen and performs a long press on an activity title, they can drag that activity to a highlighted portion of the screen to put the activity in multi-window mode.
  • If the user performs a long press on the Overview button, the device puts the current activity in multi-window mode, and opens the Overview screen to let the user choose another activity to share the screen.

Users can drag and drop data from one activity to another while the activities are sharing the screen. (Previously, users could only drag and drop data within a single activity.)

Direct Reply:

Android N inline-replyAndroid N inline-type-reply

With the Direct Reply feature in Android N, users can quickly respond to text messages or update task lists directly within the notification interface. On a handheld, the inline reply action appears as an additional button attached to the notification. When a user replies via keyboard, the system attaches the text response to the intent you had specified for the notification action and sends the intent to your handheld app.

Bundled Notifications:

Android N bundles

Android N provides developers with a new way to represent a queue of notifications: bundled notifications. This is similar to the Notification Stacks feature in Android Wear. For example, if your app creates notifications for received messages, when more than one message is received, bundle the notifications together as a single group.

Data Saver:

Android N Data saver

Over the life of a smartphone, the cost of a cellular data plan can easily exceed the cost of the device itself. In the N Developer Preview, users can enable Data Saver on a device-wide basis in order to use less data, whether roaming, near the end of the billing cycle, or on a small prepaid data pack.

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. Users can whitelist specific apps to allow background metered data usage even when Data Saver is turned on.

In-Built DPI Settings:

Android N DPI settings

Android N brings in-built DPI settings that allows one to scale up or down the display and other items on it based on the setting you choose.

System wide Dark theme & Night Mode:

Android N Night Mode

Android N now brings Night Mode that makes gets activated based on time and location. System-wide Dark theme can be activated too when Night Mode is on. As mentioned above Dark theme gets applied to core areas of Android N which are usually displayed in light theme.

Improved Recent button:

With Android N, Google has made the multitasking button even smarter. Now with Android N,  when you double tap the home button, it will now switch back to the previous app that you were using. While multiple taps will take you to the apps in the order they were opened.

The built-In File Manager has been improved:

 With Android N,Google has improved the File manager app. The app was first made available in Android Marshmallow but that was not powerful & let you only coy files. But now with Android N, it lets you rename, copy,create new folder etc.

Call blocking & Do Not disturb:

 The do not disturb mode was already available in Android Marshmallow. But with Android N, the alarms can override DND. Along with deeper DND integration , there is a new feature called call blocking which is not new but now in Android N, it has system level call blocking feature.

Emergency contact on Home screen:

With Android N, Google has made it’s OS more feature rich. Now the company has introduced a new feature that lets you add any custom number to your home screen which s quite helpful in emergency cases.

No More ‘Optimize Apps’ :

 Optimize apps was a task you have to do when you are updating your Android OS version. It was introduced with Android Kitkat. But now with Android N, the company has skipped the process of ‘Optimizing Apps’ and this results in faster update experience.

Manual Display Calibration:

 With this users can tweak the RGB & color settings of the display of their phone for better viewing.

TV Recording:

TV input services let the user pause and resume channel playback via time-shifting APIs. Android N expands on time-shifting by letting the user save multiple recorded sessions.

Users can schedule recordings in advance, or start a recording as they watch a program. Once the system has saved a recording, the user can browse, manage, and play back the recording using the system TV app.

If you want to provide recording functionality for your TV input service, you must indicate to the system that your app supports recording, implement the ability to record programs, handle and communicate any errors that occur during recording, and manage your recorded sessions.

Network Security Configuration:

Android N includes a Network Security Configuration feature that lets apps customize their network security settings in a safe, declarative configuration file without modifying app code. These settings can be configured for specific domains and for a specific app. The key capabilities of this feature are as follows:

  • Custom trust anchors: Customize which Certificate Authorities (CA) are trusted for an app’s secure connections. For example, trusting particular self-signed certificates or restricting the set of public CAs that the app trusts.
  • Debug-only overrides: Safely debug secure connections in an app without added risk to the installed base.
  • Cleartext traffic opt-out: Protect apps from from accidental usage of cleartext traffic.
  • Certificate pinning: Restrict an app’s secure connection to particular certificates.

Android Nougat Full Coverage

Android is world’s largest used operating system on mobile phones. It is an open source operating system which is the USP of this OS. Every company modifies it according to their requirement but the core system is Android which is released by Google. Companies try some minor tweaks which help them fulfill their customers need. The latest version of Android is Android Marshmallow(6.0) which was released in September.

Now the company is working on next version of Android. While Marshmallow is still very new if we take a look at the % of devices running Marshmallow. The next version of Android will be named after alphabet ‘N’ & it will be named after an online poll which will be conducted by Google said, CEO of Google Mr. Sundar Pichai at an event in India. While it will be called N , it will be having version number as 7.0 because current Android (Marshmallow) is having version number 6.0 .

Read our full Android N coverage by clicking here.

Shivam Singh

Shivam defines himself as a gadget lover and likes to cover every news related to gadgets. He has more than 4 years of blogging experience and is Senior Editor at GadgetOx. He has been covering Tech and Gadget news on other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and Nokiapoweruser since long.

His other interests include driving and traveling.

Write to him at Email: [email protected]

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