Google definitely unloaded a lot of juicy stuff surrounding Android right on the opening day of Google I/O. From a new VR platform of its own to the much awaited multi-window capabilities, there are a lot of things that Android developers will want to get their hands on before Android N finally rolls out in July, delays notwithstanding. And to whet the appetites of those eager developers, Google has released the third development preview, a.k.a. DP3, of Android N, which it bills to be its first beta-quality release, hinting at the maturity of the codebase and the imminent stable launch.
There are a lot of goodies to pick from yesterday’s keynote, both for developers and, in the final analysis, users. Of course, there’s the split screen and floating window capabilities that will land on both tablets as well as smartphones, finally bringing Android into the productivity age. But, it turns out, that’s jus the tip of the iceberg.
Android VR was also expected, but it wasn’t exactly named as such. Google chose a much more ambiguous “Daydream” brand for it. Same difference. Internally, it will most likely have “android” in the name anyway, and developers can now check that out in the latest preview as well.
Android N will also introduce a subtly new way to install and update apps and eventually the whole system itself. For individual and third party apps, a new JIT (Just-in-time) compiler promises faster installation and smaller apps. For the whole system itself, Google is taking a cue from how Chrome updates itself in the background, lessening the downtime involved in having to reboot the device after every system update.
Other interesting tidbits for developers include the improved Doze support and, of course,the new Vulkan API for graphics.
Android N DP3 can now be downloaded both as a full image as well as an OTA update so you won’t have to completely wipe the device just to update. Supported devices include the Nexus 6, 9, 5X, 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Android One (General Mobile 4G).