Once a year, Google releases a new version of its Android operating system, and with every release comes improvements to create a better and more streamlined mobile experience. Android N will be coming next, but we’ve already been playing with the very early developer preview to get a taste of its new features.
When will Android N launch?
Android N probably won’t launch until October, and even then you’ll need a Nexus 5X or 6P to get it first (although other Nexus devices will follow almost immediately). Of course, if you’re a real techy and have a Nexus you could download a developer version of Android N right now (although we wouldn’t recommend it, unless you’re an actual app developer).
What will Android N be called?
Right now, no one knows what the N will stand for. It’s a safe bet that it’ll be named after a sweet American treat, just like its predecessors. So far we’ve had Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop and Marshmallow. But what’s next? The Lowdown team has some ideas…
- Netflix and chill
- Nigella Lawson
But we can’t be certain. If you’ve got any ideas drop us a comment below.
What new features will Android N have?
New quick settings menu
A quick pull down from the top of the screen will give you access to the quick settings menu, sitting above your notifications. A secondary pull (or just one with two fingers) will show all the controls, which can now be rearranged like they can on some other Android smartphones.
There’s also a new look to the full settings menu. There’s now Recommended settings to help you find things faster, and there’s handy info under each heading in the menu – so under Display, for example, you can see whether Adaptive brightness is on or off without going into the display settings.
Samsung and LG already let you run two apps side-by-side on their top Android phones, and now Google is introducing a multi-window feature that will work on any phone running Android N. This will be more of a plus for tablet users, but for those with larger-screened smartphones you won’t miss a second of Netflix while sending that late night email.
Clear all apps
One of the biggest bug-bears in stock Android has always been the lack of a button to close all your open apps, you have to swipe them away one by one. Now, however, you can clear everything with just one tap.
Doze Mode was a headline feature of Android Marshmallow, saving you battery when you’re not using your phone. And with Android N, it’s been upgraded to save even more power.
When the screen’s off, Doze 2.0 will instantly start saving battery but limiting apps. And when you’re phones been still for a while (like when you’re asleep) it’ll go into a really deep sleep where most apps won’t be able to do anything.
Reply to notifications from the lock screen
Being able to check notifications from your lock screen is handy, but Android N will let you action them. That means you can reply to texts or delete emails without unlocking your phone. It’s a handy feature if you’re not too worried about security.
Google is on a mission to save you money with its new Data saver. Turning it on will stop apps from using data in the background unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi. But you can create a list of apps that are allowed to keep downloading stuff in the background so you don’t miss out on things like emails.
Android N isn’t just about smart new features, there’s some smart new design too. Folders are the biggest change we’ve noticed, with the new round clusters of apps looking pretty slick.
We’ll keep an eye on Android N 7.0 as Google develops it and we’ll be sure to keep this article updated. If there’s anything in the new operating system we’ve missed, tell us about it in the comments below.