Just a few weeks after the first preview arrived, the 2nd dev preview of Android N has landed. So that you get the first time user experience, I flashed my device and set it up as new. The changes from dev preview 1 are immediately visible, even in the initial setup process.
In the first preview, the last screen in the setup process included two new options: Emergency Info and Additional Apps. The former lets you input any personal and medical information, the latter seemingly did nothing for now. This final setup page has been completely changed in preview 2 to include more options and takes a few tedious steps out of the setup process. What’s more, there’s no more Emergency Info option at this stage. Additional Apps is still there, but we still don’t know why.
Now, if you want to, you can set up the ‘Ok Google’ from-any-screen feature. You can also set up any email addresses you want to include in the Gmail app, whether that be a Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo account. As normal, you can control which notifications show on your lock screen as well. As you complete each part of the setup, the completed options vanish from the list.
For the most part, the options within this list are all normally individual steps within the setup process. Now, because they’re collected on to one list, you can skip them all at once if you’re not interested, and save a lot of time during setup.
Once setup is complete, we get to the home screen and right from the off, there’s a new feature: Redesigned folders. Now, the circle icons act as round windows to your collected apps. Instead of overlapping on top of the folder, the app icons seem to be ‘inside’ this window. Sadly, this doesn’t mean the folder opening animation has changed, but I think that’s the next logical step.
Joining the new folder design are a couple of changes to the redesigned app-switcher. Scrolling to the top reveals a new ‘clear all’ feature which — as the name suggests — clears all of your recently used apps. Once clear, there’s a new ‘no recent apps icon’ too. We also have new, more human emoji, as pointed out in the ‘what’s new’ gallery Abner posted yesterday.
Another minor addition is within the notification shade, specifically among the quick settings tiles. Hitting ‘edit’ reveals a new calculator option. Once activated and placed in the drawer, you can launch your calculator app quickly and simply by tapping it.
While emergency info is no longer in the initial setup process, it is still in the settings menu, and has been subject to a redesign. Both the setup screen and emergency info screen (which you access from the lock screen) now have a two-panel UI with personal and medical details on one page and emergency contacts on the other.
While there weren’t as many new features to note in the second preview, it’s interesting to see where Google is focussing its efforts. By deliberately, and purposefully, redesigning the Emergency Information, perhaps Google is telling us it’s planning a big health drive for I/O this year. What’s more, with the mysterious ‘Additional Apps’ feature which doesn’t do anything yet, maybe it’s trying to suggest that even stock Android phones will have fewer pre-installed apps than current devices do.
As new versions of the software are released, we’ll be sure to keep you updated with all the changes as they come. Be sure to follow us here and subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep your finger on the pulse.