Just a month after its initial—and earlier than expected—Android N Developer Preview release, Google has shipped a second version. Android N Developer Preview 2 provides new and improved features and fixes for bugs found in the first preview.
I wrote about my hands-on experience with the first release in A Quick Look at the Android N Developer Preview. Here’s what’s new in this release.
Vulkan 3D rendering. Android N’s new new 3D rendering API provides a significant boost in performance, reduced CPU overhead, and better efficiency. And now it’s just part of the Android N platform.
Launcher shortcuts. As with Windows phone live tiles, launcher shortcuts let you dive directly into individual app features right from the home screen.
Emoji Unicode 9 support. Google is providing a new emoji design for people that moves away from the generic look used today in favor of a more human-looking design.
Bug fixes. Developer Preview 2 fixes bugs found by users in the initial release, including not being able to connect to hidden Wi-Fi networks, multiwindow pauses, and Direct Reply closing an open activity, among others.
If you’re already using the Android N Developer Preview, you will see an update appear in System Updates soon, Google says. But if you’re just now joining up, you can enroll your devices in the Android Beta Program to get started.
While recent rumors suggested that Google would open up the Android N Developer Preview to non-Google devices, that’s not happened yet. Android N Developer Preview 2 is currently available for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices. The Nexus Player will get the update to Developer Preview 2 in “several days.”
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