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Start your downloads: Google launches its Android N developer preview

Florence Ion | March 10, 2016
The build is less complete and released earlier than in the past, all in an effort to help developers and device makers get updates out sooner.

Doze mode for your pocket

Doze mode is one of the best features in Marshmallow, but it requires your phone to be in sleep mode and stationary for awhile (like on a table) before it kicks in. Android N expands the feature so that it works any time the screen is off, regardless of whether or not you’re moving around with it on you. For instance, if you’re on a hike, but you haven’t actually pulled your phone out of your pocket, the phone will shut off any network activity and only check for new content every 15 minutes or so. Of course, applications can make priority notifications (like texts) come through immediately.

When I asked Burke if this is like Doze mode for your pocket, he replied, “Exactly! Pocket Doze.” This could potentially have a huge impact in your phone’s daily battery drain.

Developers, developers, developers!

Google will make it easier for developers to start testing their apps on Android N with the new Android Beta Program. Beginning today, developers can update their recent Nexus device to the developer preview of N via an over-the-air update. No more awkward ADB flashing! The company plans to eventually open the Android Beta program to consumers, too, but for now it’s limited to developers.

There’s more in store for Android N than just these few features—after all, this is just the first version of the preview build. Google plans to have five preview builds, with the aim of handing off the final Android N code to device makers this summer. That’s several months earlier than usual, and it will hopefully mean that all those holiday phone and tablet releases will ship with Google’s latest OS, instead of getting it months later.

Get it now

For more on the first Android N developer preview, check out the Google Developers Blog.

You may also want to read Hiroshi Lockheimer’s Medium post.

If you want to flash system images, you’ll find those here. And these instructions will help you get started.

Google has not yet put up the page where you can enter the beta program and register your device to receive the Developer Preview over-the-air. We’ll update this article with that link when it goes live.


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