Android N Preview 4 Squashes Bugs, Developers can Start Publishing to Play Store

Android N has been steadily improving through its monthly updates, fixing bugs and getting developer feedback on the new APIs. Last month, at I/O, Android N entered a beta phase with improved stability to general users. Now the OS has entered into its 4th preview, and it brings along some pretty exciting things for developers.

Publish Your Apps

For a while, developers could add Android N features like PiP but not actually give these to users. Google Play would prevent the app from being uploaded because it was still using preview APIs. If a future build changed the way a certain function worked, it would cause the app to crash continually.

Now that you have a final set of APIs, you can publish updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 24 to Google Play.

This preview finalizes the APIs. This means that Google won’t be changing how developers implement these new features, although they still may fix some bugs in the framework itself. Developers can now start pushing updates to users running on the Android N beta, and as more users get the update they will experience the great features as well.

Known Issues

This is still a preview! While the system continues to become more stable, there are still several bugs that exist and plenty of polish to add. In particular, the Nexus Player has a few outstanding media playback bugs:

* Media playback may be unreliable on Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, including issues playing HD video.
* Occasional freeze when running the YouTube app with other apps in multi-window mode on Pixel C devices. In some cases hard reboot is required.
* Apps may have issues playing some Widevine DRM-protected content on Nexus 9 devices.
* Issues handling VP8 video on Nexus 9 devices.

If you can live with these issues, sign up for the beta and you’ll get the OTA on your Nexus Player minutes after. Those who’ve already signed up can just wait for the OTA to come. You can instead flash your device with the raw image if you’re interested in that.

Having N support in the Play Store will be great news for users. Are you seeing plenty of app updates? Let us know in the comments below. What will N stand for? Users voted, and the winner will be announced soon.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub ( Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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