It wouldn’t be a Google I/O event without some Android news, and today, the company has given more details on the upcoming version of its mobile OS, Android N. These include better gaming performance, more effective multitasking, and a more seamless way to update the OS, among other things.
One of the first few things highlighted about Android N is faster boot time. Thanks to a new JIT compiler, Android N will boot faster than previous versions of the OS. Other than that, app installation will also be quicker now; Google claims it will be 75% faster, which is quite a significant improvement. As for performance in general, Android N will be taking advantage of a new graphics API called Vulkan. Apparently, this will make Android smartphones feel smoother and improve gaming performance.
Google has also made several changes to the user experience of Android N. Previously, the Recent Apps page does not have a “Clear All” button, but that is changing with this version of Android. On top of that, Android N will also remove apps that you haven’t used for some time from the Recent Apps page; Google said this is meant to make it easier for users to find apps that they want to access again. Did we mention Android N will now download updates in the background as well? The next time you power on your device, the latest update will be installed automatically. This is a very welcome change for a more seamless experience, especially for those who are not very tech-savvy.
In the productivity department, Android N will finally support multi-window mode in the form of Split-Screen and Picture-in-Picture – the latter will only be available on Android TV, which is probably due to practicality reasons. Split-Screen, on the other hand, will be available on both smartphones and tablets. As its name suggests, this feature enables users to run two apps simultaneously. We imagine devices with larger displays will benefit the most from Split-Screen.
The features of Android N detailed at Google I/O 2016 are not exactly new or groundbreaking; in fact, some of these features – or most of them – are already available on other versions of Android. Regardless, it certainly is good news for fans of vanilla Android. After all, Google’s take on these features, such as the Split-Screen feature, may even prove to be better than other manufacturer’s equivalents.
Android N will be arriving sometime in Summer this year, and if you’re eager to try it out, you’ll be happy to know that a new public beta of Android N – which is supposedly stable enough for the general public – is available today. You can sign up for it over here.