We learned more about Android N at last week’s Google I/O event. Today, we’re summing up news from the week by explaining the top 5 most important changes you need to know about in Android N.
5) Longer Battery Life
Android Marshmallow introduced the Android world to Doze. However, your phone only really uses Doze when you’re sleeping. The feature is automatically activated when your phone physically doesn’t move for a long period of time – like several hours.
That’s why it didn’t have a significant impact on day-to-day battery life (unless you leave your phone untouched on your desk all day long).
Doze for Android N will become more sensitive. It will now become activated when your phone is moving but the screen is off – say, when it’s in your pocket. That should mean big battery life improvements for most Android users.
Doze, by the way, works by suspending most Android app activity when your phone isn’t moving. When your phone is still for long periods of time, it checks for updates less and less frequently.
4) Interactive Notifications
Certain apps already bring this iOS-like feature to Android. But Android N will officially introduce it to all of Android. Interactive notifications let you respond to an incoming notification without leaving your current app.
On Android N, you’ll be able to carry out entire conversations from within the notifications menu. You can reply to messages without leaving your YouTube video.
3) Better Multitasking
For whatever reason, Google has been hesitant to fully embrace multitasking. Samsung added the feature years ago, and Apple added similar functionality in iOS 9.
Google, however, is catching up. Now, with Android N, you’ll be able to run two apps at once – like by stacking them beside each other or on top of one another.
This should be enormously helpful on larger-screen Androids. However, I’ve personally had this feature on my Samsung for years and I rarely use it – so it might not be that big of a game changer.
2) More Efficient Multitasking
Switching between apps in Android N should be faster. Android N uses the same recent apps button as previous Android versions, but this time, it will automatically clear away apps that you haven’t used in a while.
So instead of seeing a list of dozens of apps you’ve used in the past few weeks (or even months), you’ll only see a selection of 5 to 7 apps that you’ve recently used multiple times (or most recently).
Making things even faster is that you can double-tap the recent apps button to immediately jump back to the last app you had open.
1) Built-In Support for Virtual Reality
Samsung has clearly embraced virtual reality with its Gear VR. Google also started warming up to the idea with its Google Cardboard device, which turned any phone into a VR system for $20.
Starting with Android N, however, virtual reality will be built into Android from the ground up. Google is placing a renewed emphasis on virtual reality with a new system called Daydream, described as a platform for high-quality virtual reality.
Phones must meet certain tech specs to support Daydream, although most of the flagships already surpass those tech specs. We should see some exciting things from Daydream in the future.
What’s your favorite Android N feature?