Android N hands on, the future version of Android

Earlier than expected, Google has just released Android N. This is the future version of Android, which will be unveiled at the Google I / O, launched surely finalized this summer and deployed on your Android in 2017. We installed the "Developer Preview" on our Nexus 5X, just to make the rounds of news and introduce you to all that.

Android N

Setting the Stage

After Android Android L and M, here Google Android N. continues to follow alphabetical order but especially the US firm continues to use the same deployment process of its Android versions. It starts with a beta version, dedicated to software to enable publishers and developers to integrate new APIs (and related functions) to apps. It's also a way to correct the problems and to adjust the system based on feedback. A kind of huge beta testing, Microsoft and Apple have a very similar system with their products.

This year, Google innovated by deploying a Beta program. This helps to easily update their device over the air, until the final version. In brief: completed, the manual installation based adb and fastboot, although this is always possible.

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This Android N, which does not know the name (a sugar that starts with N) or the version number (probably Android 7.0) is for Nexus last. Understand, 5X Nexus, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. By the way, Google has, apparently finished with the Nexus 5.

It may be confusing to those who still awaiting Android 6.0 Marshallow (not talking of those waiting Lollipop), but the schedule is nothing new: a major release a year of Android. What can then criticize is slow manufacturers to test and deploy new versions of Android on their devices. Moreover, Google has promised to deliver Android N builders this summer, so we'll officially in September (for the IFA 2016 in early September in Berlin).

You'll see, for now the news are few and rather anecdotal, the Developer Preview versions do not include all of the features introduced with the new versions of Android, and Google has promised at least one update every month until its final version. So there could be new features deployed.

It's unstable, nothing abnormal

I prefer to be clear: this version of Android N is not recommended on your function device. She remains unstable. Our device restarts unexpectedly.

Finally, if you embark on the adventure, make a full backup beforehand. You have been warned.

c_Android N.001Overall, the user experience is suitable. We have noticed that some slowdowns and sudden stops functions. If you use Android Pay, know all the same that the service will not be available on Android N, a safety issue.

No news at first glance, the drawer of apps is still there

    At first start, at first glance, not blatantly news. A new wallpaper, which you can download here, and ... still the drawer of apps. Google had already reassured us it has not disappeared.

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The multi-window, finally

The big news is the arrival of multi-window. A feature that we know, for example with Samsung smartphones with big screens. You can view two apps at the same time and adjust the window size. We could almost believe we on Windows 10, with tens of thousands of apps and more (!).
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To activate this mode, you must press the multitasking button and hold down on the app to switch to half screen. Most apps work

 On the Nexus 5X screen, it is convenient. But I guess on smaller screens, the function will remain very limited. It is on shelf where it is frankly welcome.

Emergency Contact

I do not know if it was already in place on Marshmallow, but it is possible to notify an emergency contact, with medical information. Configuration is done with the configuration of the device, where at any time in the settings.

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new parameters

The settings have changed, Google realized interesting synthesis work. First, the main menu displays values ​​to quickly assess levels: memory, battery, storage, and so on.

Then everything is contextual: in the sense that the information at the top of the screen depending on your configuration, if the data saving mode is enabled (new mode, by the way) or by putting forward suggestions (as setting safety or wallpaper on first start). Also note the arrival of the search function, which allows you to access functions quickly - it's something that we already found on EMUI, the Huawei Honor and interface.

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Redesigned notifications

The notifications have been redesigned, they are compact and visible, they display more information.

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Same thing when the screen is locked.
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Quick Sets

Quick sets are customizable, and you can find new functions, such as saving data or access the chart of battery usage.

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night mode

This is a welcome novelty. In the System Tuner UI menu, you have many options dedicated to the screen. First, it is hidden. To enable this menu, such as Marshmallow, we must remain 5 seconds press the "Settings" shortcut in the Quick Settings area. Once past 5 seconds, a new "UI System Tuner" menu appears at the bottom of the parameters (magic).
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As apps that already existed, night mode limits the intake of blue light depending on the time (it is only active while in the afternoon). The idea is to prepare your eyes to sleep, a kind of filter if you prefer. Disadvantage: This filter is added on top of your interface and thus changes the colors underneath. I used already Tranquility on OS X, you get used to.


The dark interface

That's around the dark interface that is also active in the "System UI Tuner" (see above). Note that this mode is different from the color inversion, accessible from the quick settings.
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Screen calibration

Also hidden in the menu "System UI Tuner", here is a white point adjustment system. This is an option that is already found on some smartphones, and also CyanogenMod. It helps to calibrate the screen, depending on the characteristics of the screen technology but also its environment.

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For small data packages

As you have seen, it is possible to limit its consumption data (to WiFi, for example) through a button directly in the quick settings. The idea is to enable it, as if you wanted to limit the consumption of your battery. We have less problem in France with our full of data packages, but it is an interesting option abroad.

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Call blocking

It is possible to block calls, you will say that this is not new. In reality, the system will now further: you block a number, and it is blocked on all your Google devices, and will remain blocked even if your device is reset. Blocked numbers now seem linked to your Google account. Convenient.

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Strange things

This first version of Android Developer Preview N full of small innovations, like this available with a menu from Swype settings (it uses the same elements). We will certainly continue to find even in the coming hours, and the next version deployed by Google.


This is encouraging for the moment

N this Android update is encouraging. Google continues to introduce smooth interfaces and functions to simplify our lives, without revolutionize. I do not go into all the details, but there are even more options dedicated to accessibility, it is a good thing. Notifications now display more information in a compact format, this will allow us to save time. The settings are easy to access, with effective suggestions and search box. The multi-task intelligently evolve with the arrival of multi-window at a time when our screens easily exceed 5 inches diagonally.

Of course, this may sound again if you are still waiting Marshmallow (you millions), but for those who have tasted Android 6.0 is very similar. A fairly minor update for this first Developer Preview that might surprise us. Expect new versions, April, May, June ... surely with new features and fewer bugs.

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