Google announced a developer preview of its next Android release – Android N – stating that “by releasing a ‘work in progress’ build earlier in the development, we have more time to incorporate developer feedback”.
It also said that the earlier preview should enable it to hand-off the final N release to device makers this summer.
Among the new features supported are the ability to launch apps in split-screen mode (with the ability to set minimum size modes); direct replies from notifications (using an API originally added for Android Wear); bundled notifications; and improved Java 8 language support.
The N Developer Preview includes an updated toolkit with system images for testing on the official Android emulator, and on various Google devices.
But it also cautioned that it is “for developers only and not intended for daily use or consumer use” – “as we get closer to a final product, we’ll be inviting consumers to try it out as well”.
Google traditionally unveils its new Android releases at the I/O developer conference.