Android N is nearly upon us and the question that everyone wants to know is if their phone or tablet will see the update. For their part, Google has clearly outlined which Nexus devices will get updates and for how long after it is no longer for sale. While the definition has been roughly outlined and discussed by Google, to this point there has never been a document outlining which devices will get updates and when those updates will stop. That, thanks to a post in the Google Support pages, has been formally defined.
It is now official. Unicode 9.0 has been ratified and is now available for companies like Google to start baking into their platforms. We already know that Android N will support the standard out-of-the-box but it is possible that Marshmallow could see it in a future update as well. In all there are 7,500 characters added to the standard along with 72 new emoji.
Like many of you, I spent much of late yesterday afternoon downloading the latest Android N Developer Preview. Preview 4 is very close to the finished product and with it having the final API set that will be released with the public release, it feels far more polished than Preview 3 ever felt on my Nexus 6 or Nexus 9. It is ready for prime time? No, but it is close. Really close in fact. I’ve put together my thoughts on the overall performance and stability of the release as it relates to my two devices. Obviously your mileage will vary but for now, I’m happy to share my thoughts to help you decide if you want to jump in on the beta.
The Android N Developer Preview 4 was released earlier this afternoon and now those registered in the Android Beta program are seeing the OTA come to their devices. The update brings build NPD56N to your Nexus device and weighs in at a lightweight 168MB. The update brings all of the fixes and enhancements to the beta that I outlined earlier and, of course, brings the final API set to the device.
The forth and quite possibly the final Developer Preview of Android N is now available for developers and those who are in the Android Beta program. The updated build number is NPD56N and while the OTA update for those enrolled in the Beta program hasn’t started rolling yet, it should be by the end of the day. Perhaps the biggest news in this update is that it contains what will be the final shipping version of the APIs (API 24) for the release. That means developers can start in earnest getting their apps updated for N.
A few weeks ago I posted my first impressions of the Huawei built Nexus 6P. I covered a few of the highlights of the device that I had found to be exceptional in using the device but didn’t go into a lot of detail because this more detailed review was forthcoming. Now that I have been using the 6P as my primary phone for the last 2 weeks, I can say without question it is the best smartphone I have used to date. It is the complete package and has everything that you would expect a flagship device to have: Speed, an excellent display, a solid camera and all day battery. But that’s really just the high level stuff. There is so much this phone offers and with Android N on its way for it, a Nexus 6P isn’t a bad choice in phone even if it is a few months old.
Great news from HTC for those of you have a One M9, One A9 or are considering a HTC 10 as your next device. All three of these will be seeing the Android N update when it is released by Google. The information came from HTC’s main Twitter account and it makes HTC, outside of Google, one of the first manufactures to commit to the new version of Android.
Life is about to get a little sweeter. Android N will be coming to the HTC 10, HTC One A9 and the HTC One M9. pic.twitter.com/XzOEwTCVlU
— HTC (@htc) May 18, 2016
The tricky bit, of course, is when exactly it will be available. HTC did not make that clear in their Tweet nor did they in replies to it.
As part of the 3rd Developer Preview of Android N, four new wallpapers made their way into release. The better news is you can download them all here on the site. The new wallpapers continue the trend of having natural scenes for wallpapers and all four of them are beautiful. Three of the four are beach/surf scenes while the fourth is a close up texture image. They look great on phones and tablets and are all 2880 x 2560 resolutions for your large screen devices.
To save everyone who isn’t interested from having to have the page render, I’ve added the images after the break. You can tap on each one then right-click to save it or you can visit the wallpaper page and check out the hundreds of wallpapers I have over there.
What is interesting to this point is that there have been no Material Design wallpapers in any of the Previews so far. All five of the wallpapers in N have been nature scenes so it will be interesting to watch if a new Material wallpaper or set of them comes when the final build of N is released later this year.
Enjoy these new wallpapers on all of your devices and given their size, you may even find them pretty nice to view on your PC, Mac or Chromebook too.