In our latest Android Police video, we take a look at some of the more notable changes in Android N Developer Preview 2. Mark Burstiner, as usual, guides you through the new goodies you can expect in the latest preview release, including changes to direct reply, new emoji, a potential vector for adding "3D touch" style functionality to Android, a new calculator quick settings shortcut, and more!
I'll be honest here. We don't know what's exactly happening with the Android N Dev Preview 2's Downloads and Files situation. There are lots of nitty gritty changes happening and we obviously can't tell if these are forgotten missteps in this release or if this is the way things will be from now on. I've been going back and forth between each screenshot of Android N Dev Preview 1 and its equivalent on Dev Preview 2 trying to understand the rationale behind some of these changes, but I haven't made sense of it all.
Here is what we know though and I guarantee that it's confusing, so I'll try to make it as clear as possible and hope you can follow along.
If you've flashed Android N's second developer preview and ventured into the battery section of the settings, you may have noticed something odd happening with the History details screen (the one what shows up when you tap the graph) which normally has the expanded battery drain graph with the different components' usage. The latter part is nowhere to be seen in Dev Preview 2.
The graph is still there, but it's stretched across the screen and there's none of the information below it. No cellular signal, no GPS, no Wi-Fi, no device awake, no screen on, and no charging. All of it is poof, gone.
The first Android N Dev Preview is more than a month old by this point, yet there are still changes introduced in it that keep popping up (ha!) on our radar. Take pop-up dialogues for example. In Android M, regardless of where you tapped and held to trigger a pop-up, the dialogue would show up centered on the screen, both vertically and horizontally. It wasn't that bad, but it surely could have been better, right?
In the first Android N Dev Preview, pop-up dialogues gained more freedom. They started showing up closer to where your finger was, making them easier to reach and giving them a more contextual feel.
In the first Android N Dev Preview, we spotted a Full Importance setting in the System UI Tuner that allows you to granularly control each app's notifications and decide whether you want them to show up, play sound, peek on top of your screen, climb to the top of the notification list, and more.
In the second N preview, the 5 levels are getting slightly renamed and there's an sixth added level for very urgent notifications. First, you'll notice a new Min importance setting level, but it does what the previous Low importance setting used to. The new Low importance is for what used to be the Normal importance previously.
Gather 'round people. There's a change in the second Android N Dev Preview and it will rock your whole world upside down. Oh who am I kidding, we spotted it and we know you guys like these teeny tiny tin-tastic changes in Android, even if they mean nothing to the way you use your device, so we're sharing it with you. Prepare to be underwhelmed.
If you decide to use the new 'Clear All' option in Preview 2 or if you manually clear out all your app instances from the Recents screen, instead of the lifeless "Your recent screens appear here," you'll see a graphic icon of recent apps with "No recent items" beneath it.
In its announcement of the second Android N Dev Preview, Google mentioned support for Unicode 9, including more human emojis, skin-tone emojis, more characters, and overall more realistic emojis. Google explained that developers should start taking advantage of the new emojis in their messaging and keyboard applications, and one of the most obvious examples is Google's own Keyboard which shows many of these changes.
First up, the emotions / faces panel sees more forward-facing blobs instead of the many emojis that were previously looking toward the left. There are a few changes here and there in some emojis, but most of them kept the same allure.