Last night, in addition to launching the first public beta for Android N, Google pushed the third developer preview out and it includes some notable differences from the previous two…
First thing we noticed was new wallpapers, which you can check out and download from our Android N Dev Preview 3 gallery. Who doesn’t love those, right?
Head to the usual wallpaper selector by pressing and holding on the home screen and you’ll see a handful of new, colorful images which completely replace the previous ones. Most of them are ocean-inspired with vivid blues and high dynamic range.
Second is a new way to view the keyboard shortcuts guide when you’re using a physical keyboard. If you have a Bluetooth keyboard connected, you can simply press ‘alt-/’ or ‘win-/’ depending on which particular brand of keyboard you have. This brings up an entire list of keyboard shortcuts available. In the video, I’m using this iClever foldable keyboard, but there are plenty of other options out there.
Sticking with keyboards, but moving on to the virtual one, Dev Preview 3 has the brand new Google keyboard installed as a stock option, complete with the theme picker which allows you to select from 14 different color options and enable a key border. It also has the one-handed mode, if you happen to have a huge phone.
Another new feature is in System UI Tuner, and it’s a sort-of rebranding and tweaking of the notification manager. Now, this new ‘Power Notification controls’ option lets you switch on or switch off the ability to customize which notification level you want from any individual app.
This ranges from blocking all notifications to ‘please, interrupt everything’. Head to System UI Tuner>Other>Power notification controls. Then, when you get a notification you can press and hold it, and you’ll get options to switch automatic mode on or off, or adjust priority manually by sliding up or down.
Notable absences in this preview are the night mode which we found in dev preview 2, and the force-touch like app launcher shortcuts. However, Android N Dev Preview has finally been deemed safe enough to use Android Pay, so you can now enable Google’s payment system on any device running Dev Preview 3, providing it’s supported in your country.