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Android N Feature Spotlight: The Overview Button Gets Awesome Alt-Tab-Style Features For Fast App Switching (Video)

You already saw a few things the overview button can do in our split-screen video demo, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Google is taking app switching seriously in Android N by turbocharging the overview button. You can now switch between open apps without touching anything but that one button. Check out the video below for a demo.

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PSA: Don't Flash The Android N System Image If You Want To Receive OTA Updates [Update: Google Confirms You Can Get OTAs]

Patience is a virtue, and it's one that Google seems to value greatly. Just a few hours ago, Google released the preview images for Android N with the promise that future updates would come over-the-air through its new Android Beta program, but they forgot to mention that it didn't apply to anyone who manually flashed the images.

Tucked away in the Android Beta page, Google notes that "if you manually flashed Android N on your device by downloading the image from developer.android.com you won't receive OTA updates automatically." I'm sure that everyone who already flashed the update in the last three hours would really have appreciated knowing that before updating to Android N.

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[Video] A Quick Look At Split-Screen Multitasking On Android N

Android N is finally making multi-window a reality in stock Android, and the way it works is already more slick than what Samsung has been doing. Since not everyone has a spare device on which to install the developer preview, here's a quick look at how split-screen mode works.

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[Update: Codes Going Out] Google Is Offering 25% Off Discount On Pixel C For Developers To Encourage Tablet Development

Google is celebrating the launch of the Android N developer preview today with... a deal? Well, a deal for developers, specifically on the Pixel C. Google is shaving 25% off the MSRP of the device for developers who request a discount code through this URL. However, it appears it's just for the 64GB variant - meaning you'll still pay $450. We're reaching out to Google to see if it applies to the 32GB version as well, but it doesn't look like it at this time.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Number Blocking Is Now System-Level, Will Persist Across Resets And Devices

In Android N, blocking numbers is becoming significantly more effective. That's because Google is making this a feature baked into the platform. Going forward, certain apps will be able to create a list of blocked numbers, and other ones will be able to view this information.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Recent App List Now Has Larger Cards, Makes Switching To Previous App Easier

We already know the headlining changes in Android N, but as usual there are a lot of little things to talk about. For example, have you seen that new recent app UI? Those cards are so big. See above for a comparison of Android 6.0 on the left and Android N on the right.

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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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