Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024
Technology

10 Android N Features You Should Know About

Google has recently made a splash with the surprise release of Android N Developer Preview. This release has garnered a lot of attention because, unlike Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android N seems to be a major update. Although this is just a developer preview, anyone with a supported Nexus device can install it via the Android Beta Program. However, before you dive in, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the new features that Android N brings. In this article, we’ll walk you through the top 10 features you should know about.

1. Split-screen multitasking

Android N introduces a long-awaited feature – split-screen multitasking. This feature is especially useful for smartphones with large displays and tablets like the Pixel C. To enable this mode, simply press and hold the Recents button while inside an app. You can also resize the split-screen windows and switch between apps quickly by double-tapping the Recents button. Android N multi window feature

2. Enhanced Notifications

Android N revamps the notification shade and notifications themselves. It provides improved support for bundled notifications, allowing you to expand them into individual notifications. The notifications also display more information and feature a page-like layout. Additionally, Android N introduces support for inline reply actions, enabling you to reply to messages and update task lists directly from the notification shade. Android N notification changes

3. Improved Quick Settings

The Quick Settings in Android’s notification center have undergone some minor yet notable changes. In Android N, the first five settings are available in the notification shade without the need to swipe down. You can now also move toggles around, add more, and have more than one pane of Quick Settings. Android N Quick Settings changes

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4. Data Saver Mode

If you’ve had issues with apps consuming excessive data in the background on Android, you’ll appreciate Android N’s Data Saver mode. This mode restricts background data usage on metered connections. It also signals apps to use less data even in the foreground. You can add specific apps to the whitelist if you want them to use background data even when the Data Saver mode is turned on. Android N Data Saver

5. UI Changes

While Android N doesn’t bring a major overhaul to the Material Design looks, it does introduce a few noteworthy UI changes. The Settings page has been revamped with additional info displayed below each option. Suggestions for missed options are also provided at the top. The Settings page now notifies you of enabled options like Battery Saver, Data Saver, and Do Not Disturb. A hamburger menu is included for easy navigation between sub-menus and main menus. Dark Mode, also known as Night Mode, makes a return with new features like automatic switching based on location and time of day. Android N Settings Page

6. Screen Zoom

Android N introduces the Screen Zoom feature, allowing users to manually change their screen’s DPI (dots per inch). This feature was previously only available on rooted Android devices, but with Android N, it becomes a native feature. Screen Zoom lets you set the DPI to small, default, large, larger, or largest, depending on your preference. It not only works on text but also on all UI elements, making it useful for those who want smaller or larger UI elements on their device’s display. Android N Screen Zoom

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7. Improved Doze and Background Optimizations

Android 6.0 Marshmallow introduced Doze mode, which significantly improved battery life by limiting CPU and network activities when the device is idle. Android N takes Doze a step further by activating it when the screen has been off for an extended period. This ensures better battery optimization even when the device is not completely idle. Android N also includes background optimizations to enhance power consumption and memory usage.

8. Number Blocking and Call Screening

Android N finally brings native support for call and message blocking. You can now block calls and messages from specific numbers directly within the operating system. Google also offers an API for service providers to block numbers from the server side. The list of blocked numbers is synced through Android’s backup feature, ensuring that they remain blocked even if you switch devices. The dialer app on Android N also supports call screening, preventing calls from telemarketers and spammers from appearing in your call log or notifications. Android N call blocking

9. Picture in Picture Support & TV Recording

Android N brings Picture in Picture (PIP) support to Android TV, allowing users to see a pop-up video in a corner while navigating through other apps. This feature uses multi-window APIs to enable seamless multitasking on Android TV. Additionally, Android TV with Android N includes TV Recording, which lets users schedule recordings in advance or record while watching. Android N TV Picture in Picture

10. Android for Work updates

Android N introduces several updates aimed at the enterprise market. These updates include support for QR code scanning, allowing companies to easily provision corporate devices to employees. Android N also provides more control over employees’ devices, enabling companies to disable access to specific apps and lock down UI elements. Other enterprise-focused features include always-on VPN, contact integration with work profiles, remote reboot and bug reports, enterprise data logging, and more.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I enable split-screen multitasking on Android N?
To enable split-screen multitasking on Android N, press and hold the Recents button while inside an app.

Q: Can I reply to messages directly from the notification shade in Android N?
Yes, Android N introduces support for inline reply actions, allowing you to reply to messages directly from the notification shade.

Q: Does Android N have a Dark Mode?
Yes, Android N includes a Dark Mode, also known as Night Mode, which can be automatically switched based on your location and time of day.

Q: Can I block specific numbers on Android N?
Yes, Android N introduces native support for blocking calls and messages from specific numbers.

Q: Does Android N improve battery optimization?
Yes, Android N improves battery optimization with enhanced Doze mode and background optimizations.

Conclusion

Android N brings a range of exciting features that enhance multitasking, improve notifications, and optimize battery usage. With its UI changes, Screen Zoom, and enterprise-focused updates, Android N offers a more efficient and customized user experience. Stay tuned for more updates as Google adds new features and prepares for the final release of Android N later this year.

Liked these Android N features? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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