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Android N developer preview is coming today: Here’s what’s new

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:14PM EST
Android N Update Nexus 5X 6P
Image: Google

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With two months to go until Google I/O, Google’s developer conference where new Android versions are typically first unveiled, the tech world was shocked to learn that an Android N developer preview might be released as soon as today.

A couple of reports claim Google will make Android N available to developers, and in the process they revealed some of the new features of the upcoming operating system, complete with screenshots.

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After Ars Technica published and then pulled a story about Android N’s surprising early arrival, ZDNet also mentioned that the first Android N preview is launching on Wednesday.

The update will reportedly be available for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Pixel C Nexus 9, Nexus Player and the General Mobile 4G (Android One), and will include several new features.

Google is apparently interested in getting as much feedback from developers as possible ahead of the final Android N release, according to Ars. “The sooner we hear from you, the more of your feedback we can integrate,” Google said.

One of the new features in Android N will be a split-screen multitasking mode like the one found in iOS, Windows, and in Samsung’s customized version of Android. Android N will support side-by-side app mode both on tablets and on phones.

Furthermore, the notification panel “is totally redesigned,” featuring power controls at the top and an expandable drop-down button at the far right. Replying to a notification can be done directly in the panel without opening the full app. Notifications can also be bundled for a single app if the user desires.

More interestingly, the Doze battery-saving feature is getting even better, according to Ars. In Android N, Doze will also work when the screen is turned off but the phone is on the move. In Marshmallow, the feature only works when the device is idle.

Finally, Android N’s Java is supposedly moving “from an Apache Harmony-base to the Oracle-licensed OpenJDK,” offering developers access to Java 8 features.

The Android N Developer Preview will reportedly be available at, though the link isn’t live at this time.

UPDATE: Google has indeed announced the early Android N preview, which is available at this link.

According to the released documentation, and Google’s own Hiroshi Lockheimer who posted on Medium about Android N, Google will release five preview builds, at four to six weeks intervals, with the final version of Android N going out to AOSP and OEMs at some point in the third quarter of the year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.