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In an unanticipated turn of events, Google has published Android N developer preview. Rather than waiting for the company’s very own I/O conference to commence, we have the new developer preview available before that. The most stunning feature we are looking forward to is the multi-window support. Previous attempts from Samsung and alike have been good but seeing the integration come in natively is surely going to be astounding.

Android-N

Again, the main thing here is refinement. Android N seems to be an extension of previous Android versions. Doze, for example, was initially introduced in Marshmallow. With Android N, this new feature will be much stronger and will have more control on the device hence better battery performance. For a more detailed list, you can read the changelist below.

The Developer Preview is now available to be installed on each Nexus device. The support list is long and you can now directly download the firmware from Google. Also, as a part of a revamped strategy, OTA (Over-the-air) update will now support these preview releases. Users who want to try this firmware but are afraid of the long flash process can now rejoice!

Android N Feature List

Rather than pinning you with technical jargon and terminology, we went ahead and sieved through the key features which consumers will find useful and in turn will effect them once they update.

Multi-window support

In Android N, we’re introducing a new and much-requested multitasking feature into the platform — multi-window support.

  • Users can now pop open two apps on the screen at once.
  • On phones and tablets running Android N, users can run two apps side-by-side or one-above-the-other in splitscreen mode. Users can resize the apps by dragging the divider between them.
  • On Android TV devices, apps can put themselves in picture-in-picture mode, allowing them to continue showing content while the user browses or interacts with other apps. See below for more information.

Notification enhancements
In Android N we’ve redesigned notifications to make them easier and faster to use. Some of the changes include:

  • Template updates: We’re updating notification templates to put a new emphasis on hero image and avatar. Developers will be able to take advantage of the new templates with minimal adjustments in their code.
  • Bundled notifications: The system can group messages together, for example by message topic, and display the group. A user can take actions, such as Dismiss or Archive, on them in place. If you’ve implemented notifications for Android Wear, you’ll already be familiar with this model. with this model.
  • Direct reply: For real-time communication apps, the Android system supports inline replies so that users can quickly respond to an SMS or text message directly within the notification interface.
  • Custom views: Two new APIs enable you to leverage system decorations, such as notification headers and actions, when using custom views in notifications.

Network Security Config

In Android N, apps can customize the behavior of their secure (HTTPS, TLS) connections safely, without any code modification, by using the declarative Network Security Config instead of using the conventional error-prone programmatic APIs (e.g. X509TrustManager).

Supported features:

  • Custom trust anchors. Lets an application customize which Certificate Authorities (CA) are trusted for its secure connections. For example, trusting particular self-signed certificates or a restricted set of public CAs.
  • Debug-only overrides. Lets an application developer safely debug secure connections of their application without added risk to the installed base.
  • Cleartext traffic opt-out. Lets an application protect itself from accidental usage of cleartext traffic.
  • Certificate pinning. An advanced feature that lets an application limit which server keys are trusted for secure connections.
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