Offering developer previews is very beneficial to a platform, but it also comes with its own perils. For example, people get upset when a feature that was part of the preview is dropped before the final release. Google has been derided in many a comment section for the removal of night mode in the final Nougat release, and now the hacky night mode enabler apps don't even work anymore. Is Google doing this because it hates you personally? That must be it.
Setting up and using 2-factor authentication on a Google account used to be a fairly miserable affair. The sign-in process lurched from a native interface into a browser where users were expected to quickly enter codes, various apps weren't compatible and required special 1-time use passwords, and the app for generating codes felt completely unfinished. These days, all of those problems have been solved, and now Google's Authenticator app is even taking steps to further improve its look and usefulness. The latest update brings a great looking refresh to the UI, adds a dark mode, and finally adds its own built-in scanner functionality.
Twitter started testing a dark UI mode several months ago, but it was a server side toggle on beta and alpha builds with no way to guarantee it would be on your device. The test must have gone well because today Twitter announced dark mode as an official feature of the Android app. This should be available on all installations of the Twitter app soon.
About a month ago, some Twitter users started spotting a night mode in their Twitter app that transformed the entire interface into a dark blue shade. The change was triggered server-side, meaning it showed up inconsistently across different Twitter beta and alpha versions, but it didn't seem like there was a way to revert it back to a light theme on request.
Now, more users are reporting this dark theme, except Twitter seems to have introduced a specific toggle in the app's drawer for Night mode. When it's on, the app's interface will switch completely to that dark shade of blue and when it's off, you're back to Twitter's famous white look.
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.
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.
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.
A fresh version of the Android Support Library is now available to developers. This may be one of the biggest updates in quite a while, as some of the changes demand a few significant internal changes. On the plus side, there aren't very many changes that should break existing code, and most of the new features will make it worth the trouble. Here's a quick introduction to some of the new changes.
Vector Drawables and Animated Vector Drawables
Full vector support was first introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, allowing developers to distribute apks with easily resizable vector drawings in place of multiple images at various sizes.
When it comes to podcast applications, we often talk about Pocket Casts and BeyondPod here on Android Police, but one of the unsung heroes of the category is Player FM. The free app has over 1M downloads on the Play Store, a web client, Google+ sign in, and a lot of cool features to keep podcast fans happy. It's usually my first recommendation as a free podcast client, especially for those who are new to the medium and want to see what it's all about.
With version 3.1, Player FM is getting some much needed features for hardcore podcast listeners and a few visual tweaks that are sure to please everyone.