The wait is over as Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the annual developer conference – Google I/O 2016 which is scheduled for 18th-20th May this summer. This is the annual summit where Google announces upcoming products and updates. Hence, the eyes are especially on the Developers Preview for Android N which will be supported by several updates until October 2016 when the final build will be released.
Android N Key Features
System Update Independence
System Update Independence is a feature which will allow us to update the core functionality of the Android independent of its System UI and software features. After the release of Lollipop for Nexus devices, it took several months to port the OS to non-Nexus devices. The reason was, any change occurring at the core architecture of the OS was hindering the manufacturer to update the entire system’s UI and architecture. This is the reason why non-Nexus devices received the Android update later (sometimes too late!). However, with Android N, this won’t be of any concern. Even the non-Nexus devices will get the updates soon enough as Nexus Devices. It is believed that the functionalities available on the modified ROM would still remain intact after an update. However, it isn’t easy as it sounds. We’ll have to take a look at it when we get our hands on the developer preview.
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No more Java APIs, Say Hi to OpenJDK
Google confirmed: “We plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. This change was vital for System Update Independence. Now the development for Android N would be much simpler and all negligible changes will be required with respect to Google Updates”, Google Says. However, the reason to make the switch to OpenJDK was a legal dispute with Oracle. Even after the out-of-court settlement agreement, Google could not find a full closure. Sensing such disputes in the near future regarding the copyright policy it was a smart move by Google, switching to OpenJDK. So, the Developers at Google are busy making the transition to OpenJDK. Well, it’s a matter of time now to know the facts, the tech-giant is claiming about the switch.
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It would be the most criticized feature which is to be added in Android N. The feature will allow you to split screens into right and left half while oriented in landscape mode. Google took so long to add this feature, as it was full of glitches and optimizing the functionality for all screen size is a real pain. Also, Google was developing this feature for years making sure that the functionality will not be local to several apps, they wanted to make this feature rather universal. Now it’s just a matter of time when the functionality will be encouraged/discouraged with the final build set to be released in October 2016.
N stands for No App drawer?
Well, you may not like this but Google is going to drop the app drawer feature (most probably). This feature long existed from the very beginning of the Android OS. This was one of the best things about Android. With the Marshmallow update, Google made the background of Drawer white and now is planning to get rid of it. The reason is not clear until, why Google started hating app drawer this much all of a sudden. To give you a little relief, the app drawer featured can be reclaimed using some hidden settings which will come to light soon enough.
New messaging app
After the unsuccessful integration of Hangout SMS/MMS, the company is now moving on with Android N. A new Rich Communications Services (RCS) based messaging platform is being developed whose limits will not just be bounded with texting, now you can do even more with this new messaging app like file sharing, video chat and instant Messaging. This product is under development and it is not sure if the app would be ready with the release of Android N. However, Google is working on contingencies to add this feature over the air even after the release of Android N.
Android N: Name?
In the recent days, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai indicated that the company will put the votes to decide the name of it’s upcoming version of Android OS. What would it be? Nutella?Nougat? or, this time, something desi (Indian) Nankhatai or maybe something mysterious?
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These are some of the key features which are to be introduced with Android N, assume it as a starter. The full menu will be given by October 2016. One thing is clear from now, iOS and Windows devices are going to get even tighter competition this year.