Google surprised everyone with the spontaneous announcement of the Android N Developer Preview. This early version of what could be called Android 7.0 is due to be released later in the year, gives us a good indication of where Android is heading. Now the Google I/O keynote has revealed even more about the newest version of Android and brought about a more stable beta release.
1. Google I/O
At the I/O keynote, Google announced that a beta-quality Android N release is coming out today, and there are three areas of focus for Android N: performance, security and productivity. Native VR support has now also been confirmed, with a new VR platform called Daydream.
The name of the new Android OS was not presented during the keynote. Instead, Google announced that it will be taking suggestions for the name via an online submission form. You can submit your naming ideas on the dedicated page.
Google began by talking about the Vulkan graphics API. We already saw this in the Android N Developer Preview 2, and you can read more about what it means for Android here.
A new JIT compiler means that apps should install up to 75 percent faster, and compiler code should be reduced by 50 percent. The irritating Android is starting... dialogue box will be gone for good, thanks to this new compiler, as well
Google stressed improvements in security through file-based encryption, media framework hardening and seamless updates.
In particular, these seamless updates mean that your phone will download new software images in the background and prepare them for the next time you restart your device. Thanks to the file-based encryption, you also won't need to enter your device password upon restarting.
Productivity is also now a focus. Google says that most people only use their seven most recent apps from the recent app drawer, so the wheel will be limited to these. There is also going to be a Clear all button, which received a rush of applause for a grateful I/O audience.
By double-tapping the recent apps button, you can quickly switch to the previous app, although, on many devices, this feature was already available via a long press on the same button.