Category: Android N

Android N Developer Preview 3 Now Available

As expected, Google announced yesterday at I/O that the 3rd Developer Preview of Android N is now available for those registered in the beta program.  What is more interesting is that the company was quite clear that they believe this build is stable enough for general consumption on your every day devices.  It is a significant difference from the language used in the first two previews which was very clear in their “developer only” messaging.  While I would still caution those who don’t want to put up with odd behaviors or diminished battery life from download it, if you have an eligible device, you can get it through the Android Beta program site.

Two New HTC-Built Nexus Devices In The Works

Readers will know that I don’t post a lot about rumors because they are, well, rumors.  But this one was just too good not share.  It looks like we are going to see not one but two new Nexus devices coming from HTC, possibly as soon as next month at I/O.  The rumor and support for it comes from Android Police and that team has a great track record for getting these types of rumors right.  They did it 2014 and 2015 with the Nexus 6, 6P and 5X.

Android N Beta Comes to Select Xperia Z3 Devices

Just a day after releasing the Android Marshmallow update for the Xperia Z3, Sony has announced that owners of select models of the phone can download and test the Android N Technical Preview on their devices now, months ahead of its official release.  The news means that Google has expanded the boarders of the Android N preview far wider than any other previous beta of the Operating System and Sony could well be the first of many manufactures who open up a similar program.

Android N Developer Preview 2 Released

About a month after the first Developer Preview as released, Google announced today that the 2nd preview for Android N has been released.  While Android N remains very much in beta mode, this update addresses a significant number of bugs that were identified by testers and also brings some new features for testing.

Improved App Optimization in Android N

Editor’s Note:  This post is concerning a feature in Android N.  As this new version of Android is still in development, the features described in this post could change between the time of the writing and when it is released to the public in the summer of 2016.

One of the exciting changes that appears to be coming in Android N is the way that apps are optimized after a system level update.  The change means that you will be able to access apps on your device faster than you currently can with Marshmallow, albeit with them running a bit slower.  The change means that when you update your device with an update to Android itself, you should be able to use your phone much faster than you can today with Lollipop or Marshmallow.

First OTA Update Hits Android N Devices

For those of you who are running the Android N Technical Preview, the first of what is likely to be many OTA updates is starting to roll out.  Users of the Nexus 6, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are all seeing a small, 30MB update come to their phones as we speak and you should see the update hit your device soon if you haven’t already.  Google has also updated the factory images that includes these updates and you can flash directly to them if you want to do so (although it is easier to just do the OTA through the Android N Beta Program).  The new builds are as follows:

  • Nexus 5X:  NCP56W
  • Nexus 6P:  NCP 56W
  • Nexus 6:  NCP56P
  • Pixel C:  NCP 56P
  • Nexus 9:  NCP56X
  • Nexus Player:  NCP56R

Android N Brings Improved Accessibility

Editor’s Note:  This post is concerning a feature in Android N.  As this new version of Android is still in development, the features described in this post could change between the time of the writing and when it is released to the public in the summer of 2016.

There was a time, in the not-to-distant-past, where being visually impaired made using a smartphone or even a PC challenging.  While huge strides have been made on the PC front, the accessibility changes needed on smartphones to help those with vision challenges have been slow to come.  It has improved significantly as both Google and Apple focus on this with their platforms, but there is always room for improvement.  As I dig into Android N further, it looks like those improvements are coming to the next generation of Android in a positive way.

On Project Fi? Hold Off on Android N

If you are a Project Fi user, the first technical preview of Android N may not be for you.  In various forums and social sites across the web – Google+, the Product Forums and Reddit – Fi users have run into a wide range of problems with their devices after installing Project N.  This has included some bricked phones (to be fair though, there have been non-Fi users impacted by that) and users simply not being able to get the service to work even after clearing app caches and data.

The news of issues shouldn’t come as a complete shock given the nature of this first beta of Android N.  It is certainly not fully baked (think of it is a cake with a gloppy center right now) and while some users have had seemingly no problems, for Fi users, the inability to make calls or use data is, well, kinda a big deal.

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