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Android N Feature Spotlight: The Redesigned Settings Menu Crams A Ton Of New Information Everywhere

Google kept most of the new stuff in Android N under wraps before today's surprise developer release, but one of the things we spotted early was a redesigned user interface for the main Settings app. Here it is, in all its multifaceted glory. There are a lot of small changes, mostly focused at getting more relevant information to users quickly, and often without the need to dive into a sub-menu. Almost all of the listed entries on the main page now have a subtitle: the connected network for Wi-Fi, devices for Bluetooth, a readout for data usage, et cetera.

2016-03-09 20.11.42 2016-03-09 20.11.47

Now when you enter any sub-menu, there's a hamburger button on the left of the screen that allows you to quickly access any other part of the main menu.

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[Update: More Details] Android N Feature Spotlight: Doze Will Now Work Whenever The Screen Is Off, Even When The Device Isn't Stationary

When Google first announced Doze for Android Marshmallow, it was touted as a bid to significantly boost battery life by putting the device into a very low power-consumption mode whenever it was stationary and the screen was turned off. This meant that leaving your phone on a table overnight or even for a full day would only sip away a very small amount of your battery. Unfortunately, since it only kicks in for a fully stationary device, Doze in Marshmallow doesn't get triggered if, say, you leave your phone in your pocket instead of placing it on the table, meaning that you won't see any of those battery savings.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Night Mode Is Back With Expanded Features Including A Red Filter And Lower Brightness

When we got our first peek at Android M in the dev preview last year, many of you were elated to see an option for Night Mode in the OS. After all, that white settings UI is unpleasant to look at in the dark. Google pulled Night Mode before the final build came out, but it's back in the Android N preview. It's also much more robust.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: New Data Saver Option Reduces Data Usage On Limited Cellular Plans

It's 2016, and despite the proliferation of services that get us to store our data on other people's servers, most of us have carrier plans that limit how many of those bytes we can transfer over a cellular network. I personally have access to Wi-Fi for most of the day, and I don't particularly want to spend the time that I don't staring at a phone, but even then, background data usage can pose a problem. Android already lets you set warnings and limits that prevent you from going over your monthly cap, but N introduces a feature that intends to increase how long it takes you to get to that point.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: The New Quick Settings Menu Includes Mini-Toggles And Easy Editing

There's a new version of Android on the horizon, and you know what that means: users complaining that their devices aren't included in the developer preview. But it also means that the Quick Settings menu is getting some interface changes, and there are quite a few tweaks in the new N builds. Now when users pull down the notification shade, they're first greeted with a single row of minimalized settings icons, which can be accessed without pulling down the shade twice as in Marshmallow.

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[Download] Here's The New Android N Wallpaper

A new Android release, a new default wallpaper. Do you have a device that isn't compatible with the Android N developer previews? Maybe you just have a very slow internet connection and can't wait for the new factory images to download. Whatever the reason, you want to make your device look a bit more like it's running Android N, and you don't want to wait around. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download the new wallpapers from the links below.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Jack Compiler Gains Support For Many Java 8 Language Features Including Lambdas, Streams, Functional Interfaces, And More

Developers have plenty of great new APIs and features coming with Android N, but perhaps the best thing to look forward to is at the language level itself. Starting with the preview SDK due out today, some of the language features of Java 8 will be supported by the Jack compiler. This will bring things like support for lambdas, default and static methods, streams, and functional interfaces. Google is also declaring that the Jack compiler will also be able to remain more up-to-date with Java language features in the future.

One of the top requests from developers over the last few years has been for a more rapid uptake of new language features for Java, many of which would allow for more efficient use of development time and ultimately easier to read code.

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[Yes, It's This Post] Get The Android N Preview Images For Nexus 5X, 6, 6P, 9, Player, And Pixel C Here

Preview images? What preview images? Oh, those ones. Yeah, we've got those. Check out the direct links for each Android N preview image download below (all devices shown except the General Mobile 4G, which will get images at a later date).

Warning: The Android system images are previews and are subject to change. Your use of the system images is governed by the Android SDK Preview License Agreement. The Android preview system images are not stable releases, and may contain errors and defects that can result in damage to your computer systems, devices, and data.
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Android N Feature Spotlight: Split-Screen Multitasking And Picture-In-Picture Mode Finally Come To Android

We've known for ages that Google is working on bringing multi-window mode to Android, and it's finally happening in Android N. As part of the new developer preview, you can start playing around with apps in split-screen and picture-in-picture modes. Developers will have to add support by targeting Android N (and later), but it sounds like Android itself will handle all the heavy lifting.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Notification Shade Now A Lot More Powerful With Direct Reply And Notification Bundling

Android's notification shade is getting a lot more powerful in N, and two new APIs are the key to that: direct replies and bundling. On the surface, both of these things sound fairly unexciting, but in reality, they have the potential to make the notification shade a powerful multitasking tool that reduces the amount of time you spend doing quick tasks and entering apps when you don't actually need to.

inline-reply

First, let's hit the direct reply API. The wonderful ability to reply to messages in Google Messenger or Hangouts directly from the notification bar was, you may be surprised to learn, not a standard Android feature.

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