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android n

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Visual Changes To Battery Notification Dropdown Experience Make Battery Saver Quicker To Access

Checking remaining battery life is a task many of us have to do far more often than we like. In Android N, the experience is a tad different from what you may be accustomed to in Marshmallow.

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Android N Developer Preview 3 Includes A Tweaked Package Installer UI

The new Android N developer preview has some important new features, but also a lot of little changes. For example, a new package installer UI. It's not dramatically different, but you can see the new one above and the old one below for comparison.

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[Promising] Android N Preview 3 Adds An Automatic Level For Power Notification Controls (Previously Known As Full Importance)

The saga of "full importance" notification levels in Android N continues. The feature was introduced in the first developer preview as a more granular control method for notification settings, then it was further modified in the second developer preview with some shuffling and renaming of the different levels and the addition of a sixth one, and now in the third developer preview, we're seeing one more option: Automatic importance.

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Android N Preview 3 Changes The Screen Unpinning Shortcut, No Longer Throws You Back To Recents Overview

Android Lollipop introduced screen pinning: a way for you to lock your device into one app until a specific shortcut was tapped to take you out of it and let you switch to something else.

In Lollipop, a screen is pinned by going to Recents and tapping the green pin button at the bottom right of any app card, and it is unpinned in one of two ways: short tapping Recents and Back simultaneously if no Accessibility service is enabled in your Settings at all, or long tapping Recents if at least one Accessibility service is switched on. That created several problems:

  • the confusion over which shortcut to use depending on whether you have some Accessibility service enabled,
  • the automatic switch to Recents each time you unpinned (you were pressing Recents after all...), which meant that you had to tap the app again to go back to using it,
  • and more recently, the conflict with Multi-Window on N, which requires the same long-tap on Recents action to get triggered.
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Android N Developer Preview 3 Allows Side By Side Chrome Windows In Multi-Window Mode

Confession: as a web writer who has to constantly research new stories, keep an eye on social networks, stay in contact with my coworkers, and see if that jerk on eBay has outbid me for the LEGO T-rex from the Dino Defense HQ set, I often have dozens and dozens of Chrome tabs open on my desktop by the end of the day. That sort of wanton disregard for computer memory doesn't really translate over to mobile, where the single screen limits multitasking to a certain degree. But Google is going to enable my bad habits on Android phones and tablets soon: in the third developer preview of Android N, users can open Chrome windows side by side.

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Joaomgcd's AutoNotification And AutoInput Are Already Updated To Make Use Of N's Spiffy New APIs

Joaomgcd hates touching his phone. At least that's what I think the drive behind all of these apps he keeps developing and improving is. He's truly the man who wants to make automation as attainable of a goal as possible, and to that extent, he has built apps like AutoNotification and AutoInput that allow you to create plenty of new actions that the famous Tasker app can make use of in its automation profiles.

Joao has been working on AutoNotification and AutoInput to add plenty of new features enabled by the additional APIs brought in Android N. AutoNotification is getting custom Quick Settings tiles (feature explanation) and Quick Reply in notifications and Notification Groups (feature explanation).

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InBrief
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Android N Feature Spotlight: Storage Access Framework Can Now Provide Virtual Files When Files Aren't Locally Available

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Android N Developer Preview 3 Has Two New Dev-Focused Quick Settings, And The Missing Night Mode Is Still (Sort Of) Accessible

Quick settings is the site of major improvements in Android N—there's a new row of five toggles along the top of the notification shade, the quick settings can be rearranged, and you can even add new tiles. The latest Android N Dev Preview 3 brings more improvements and tweaks to quick settings.

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Night Mode And Dark Theme Are Very Unlikely To Ship In Android N

We've got another tidbit from our time at Google's Android office hours here at I/O, and you're probably not going to like it, Nexus owners. Speaking to Dan Sandler, we were told that night mode and the dark theme were both simply not up to the standard of performance and polish that Google wants to see of features in this release. As such, according to Dan, it is very unlikely either feature will ship when N is released in final form later this year.

We've received dozens of tips about the night mode and dark theme disappearing in Android N Developer Preview 3 (kind of, it still lives on in the quick settings tiles), and it sounds like the reason it's gone is indeed because Google isn't planning to ship it.

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Current Nexus Devices Will Not Get The New Seamless Update Feature From Android N

Speaking to Google at the Android team's office hours event, we learned that Android N's new seamless update feature, borrowed from Chrome OS, will not be introduced on any current Nexus devices. While the benefits of seamless updates' usage of dual system partitions to allow OS updates to proceed in the background are substantial, they're also a bit of a technical bear to put on existing smartphones. Implementing seamless updates on the Nexus 5X or 6P, for example, would require repartitioning the entire phone, and wouldn't be possible for an end user to complete without hooking the phone up to a computer, allegedly - it would just be a pain, in short.

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