Android N, whose name will be decided by us, is getting another update. It was announced at I/O earlier today. (Vote for “Namey McNameFace”!) This is now a “beta”, meaning it’s said to be stable enough to be put on daily drivers. This third release, is one of the five planned before the final release.
This build is currently available for the Nexus Player. At I/O today, it was available for demoing in the Living Room sandbox. Users have reported that a lot of the issues with Preview 2, Netflix and HBO Now problems, work now.
With the idea behind this new release, there are not a lot of new features. It’s mainly about adding polish and fixing bugs for the final release. One part of the UI, in the overview screen, does seem to be new.
Beyond that, there’s some new features in general. VR mode allows users to enter a VR environment while using your phone as the screen. Sustained Performance Mode is limited to the Nexus 6P but will tell apps to provide consistent experiences for apps running for a long time.
Multiprocess WebViews will allow web content to optionally run in a separate process, which may improve performance and responsiveness. It’s still an early feature.
Launcher shortcuts, where apps could supply a handful of quick items from a gesture, is being taken away from Android N. It just wasn’t it’s time. Some tech writers theorized that this would be an Android implementation of 3D touch, but since this is going away it seems not to be the case. It will likely return in a future version though, much like Day/Night mode and multi-window were removed from Marshmallow and returned to N.
When can I get it?
If you are signed up for the beta, then you should be getting the OTA soon. The Nexus Player OTA should arrive in a couple days.