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. Read More
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).
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.
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. Read More
Did you expect to wake up to a new version of Android this morning? Probably not. But that's exactly what you're getting, and Google's letting the information fly fast and hard (... and in some cases, slightly before we expected) about the latest iteration of their mobile OS, at this time only known as "N." Like previous... previews... N doesn't have a version number or name yet, but it's chock-full of new features for users and developers alike, and the list of those features will grow as we near the final release. Let's break down the key facts.
- Preview images: Android N preview images will be available today for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, General Mobile 4G (Android One), Nexus Player, Nexus 9, and Pixel C.
Android N is here: have you heard? Of course you have (well, maybe a bit earlier than even we expected), because the internet is freaking littered with Android N news right now. But one piece you may not have broken out amongst all the ruckus was exactly when N is launching for real (read: this summer), as opposed to a developer preview. Well, Hiroshi Lockheimer, head of Android (and Chrome OS / Chromecast) at Google, dropped a little nugget of relevant info today in a post on Medium about Android N. Read More
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.
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. Read More
Android N is expected to show up at I/O in May, but you don't have to wait until the official unveiling to see what the future holds. Following our report on the upcoming changes to the notification shade and quick settings, we've got more details on the system settings in Android N. You might have already seen the settings screenshot with a hamburger menu, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Read More
Google changed the style of Android's notification shade and quick settings with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and based on an early version of Android N we've seen, it's changing things up again. The look of Android N's notification shade is being altered, but it's more than cosmetic. Notifications will include more info, and quick settings are finally creeping in. The full quick settings UI is getting a new paginated style, and editing tiles will be easier. Read More
Android's rapid rise to the top of the mobile market was accompanied by a number of legal battles, and perhaps none of them was so central and so contentious as Oracle versus Google. The fight over the legality of patents and copyrights in some of the portions of Android that used allegedly proprietary Oracle-owned Java software has been raging since 2010, eventually being considered for review by the US Supreme Court before being bounced back to the lower appeals court. The fight was a constant, and sometimes dramatic, part of legal software news at one point.
Apparently Google is as tired of dealing with the legal headache as we are of writing about it, because the company has confirmed that Android will do away with the remaining Java APIs starting with Android N, which will probably be released sometime in 2016. Read More