Android N is here in early beta form and while it’s not a terribly exciting update, at least for now, it certainly packs a nice collection of neat features and improvements. Beyond what you’ve already seen discussed, there are a number of things hidden inside the code that you’ll definitely want to know about because they point to some nifty upcoming features for Android.
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Inspecting Android N closely, 9to5Google put together a quick video that shows 14 hidden new features in Google’s new software. These concern various settings such as Dark Mode, Screen Calibration, Time Display and Battery Percentage, a new gesture for launching Split-Screen mode, support for a landscape home screen and for drag-and-drop text between Spilt-Screen apps.
Other neat new features include a notification prioritization mode, support for multiple simultaneous languages, an improved Do Not Disturb mode, and pin sharing options – the video below shows these, and several other tiny improvements that loyal Android fans will appreciate.
While these Android N features are available on any Nexus device running this first Developer Preview, there’s an even cooler trick buried inside Android N.
While poking around, Ars Technica discovered an “experimental freeform windows” mode in Android N that would let you run Android just like you do Windows. If that sounds familiar, it’s because there are several projects that offer customers ways to experience Android on a computer in a manner similar to Windows.
But it looks like Google is also toying with this idea, though the feature is not available in Android N just yet… unless you’re willing to root Android N and perform a series of steps to enable it.
To be fair, the feature isn’t exactly hidden since it’s mentioned in some official documentation: “Manufacturers of larger devices can choose to enable freeform mode, in which the user can freely resize each activity. If the manufacturer enables this feature, the device offers freeform mode in addition to split-screen mode.”
It’s unclear at this time what types of devices this feature is made for.