Android 6.0 Marshmallow was announced nearly six months ago and according to Google, it has only found its way to 2.3% of Android devices so far. That… is not a lot of Android phones. Since Marshmallow has been available for six months and it’s only found on less than 3% of devices, you can imagine how long it will be before Android N makes its way to end users. Google surprised us all when it released a developer preview build earlier this month, and the final build of Android N is expected to be released sometime this summer. So if trends stay true, we can expect N to become the most widely used version of Android sometime in 2018. Seriously.
That’s a long time from now but if you’re a somewhat savvy user, we have good news for you: You can start to use Android N’s best new features on your current smartphone right now.
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2014’s Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 5.1 Lollipop update currently combine to make up the most widely used version of Android in the world. If you’re one of the millions of people running Android 5.0 or later on your smartphone, it’s compatible with a new project called N-ify that aims to bring all of Android N’s best new features to older smartphones and tablets.
That’s the good news. But the bad news is that you’ll have to root your phone in order to install it. If you’re not sure what that means or entails, it’s probably best that you stop reading now.
Since the Android N developer preview is only available for a handful of devices, a team of developers has created N-ify in an effort to bring the new software’s new look and its feature set to all smartphones. The project is still in its infancy and only a few features are currently supported. The developers are active and ambitious though, and key features like Doze, Night Mode and the revamped notifications section are already in the works.
N-ify requires you to root your device and it’s packaged as an Xposed module, so you’ll need to install the Xposed framework on your phone first. For more details, check out this post on the XDA Developers blog.