If you were never really a fan of the traditional emoji Android phones currently offer, the upcoming Android N is something you will definitely enjoy. In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Android, unveiled the second developer preview of the OS and introduced several new features.
For starters, the emoji on Android N are more human-like. The little yellow worm-like creatures have been done away with, and the human-looking emoji also offer skin-tone variation.
The next biggest change in the OS is the use of Vulkan, a 3D-rendering application programming interface (API) that significantly boosts performance of heavy apps. While this may not have a tangible effect on users, they can however check out the launcher shortcuts the Android OS includes.
Launcher shortcuts will essentially allow users to easily access a common task directly from the launcher. Whether it's directions to take you home from your current location or a specific playlist on a music player app, each app can create up to five dynamic shortcuts.
Android has also fixed several bugs that were found in the first developer preview, while also refining features like the multi-window support introduced in the OS' previous iteration.
The Android N Developer Preview is available only to certain Google-developed devices, viz., the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9 and Pixel C, as well as General Mobile 4G devices, which are a part of the Android One programme. Owners of these devices need to enrol in the Android Beta Program, after which users will receive this and subsequent iterations of the OS. Users also have the option of manually installing the OS.