Google has made a beta version of its new mobile operating system, Android N, available to developers on a handful of devices (the Nexus 5X, 6, 6P, 9, the Nexus Player and the Pixel C), revealing new features such as a multi-window mode, a simplified notifications system, new options for managing data use and enhanced battery saving.
The main innovation in Android N, now unveiled in a beta version for developers, is a split-screen function for using two applications simultaneously, open side by side (tablet) or one above the other (smartphone).
This mode is even more eagerly awaited since it already features in third-party interfaces for Google’s OS — like those made by Samsung and LG — as well as in competitor platforms iOS and Windows. Developers are being offered a 25% reduction on the Pixel C in the US Google Store to take full advantage of the new beta OS.
Other new features include revamped notifications, promising a faster and easier-to-use system no matter what applications are open. Google also promises improved battery saving, plus options for limiting data use by reducing the quality of images and video streams, which could prove handy for users with limited data packages.
Google is expected to present the latest features of its Android mobile operating system in detail at the Google I/O conference, held in Mountain View, California, May 18-20, 2016.
By giving developers a first look in March, Google could start rolling out Android N from this summer on a new line-up of Nexus devices, before quickly following with updates for Android Marshmallow products.
All that remains now is to find a suitable snack to name the OS. Three years after teaming up with KitKat, could Google have an Android Nutella in store?
Google I/O runs May 18-20, 2016, in Mountain View, USA. Website: events.google.com/io2016