Android N is nearing its summer launch with Developer Preview 4. While DP3 was the first beta version stable enough for use as a daily driver, this preview is meant to get third-party developers ready to publish Android N-compatible apps. It features final APIs and the official SDK, as well as the ability for developers to publish apps to devices running Android N.
Those who have already enrolled in the Android Beta Program will get an OTA update soon, but if you’re impatient you can download new factory images right now. Keep reading for our complete list of all the changes in Developer Preview 4…
Android N final APIs
Developer Preview 4 includes the final APIs for the upcoming Android N platform. The new API level is 24.
You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.
Google announced at I/O this year that it is taking suggestions on what to name Android N. Android VP Dave Burke jokingly offered “Namey McNameface” on stage and the Easter Egg in DP4 has been updated to reflect that.
Time set to 7:00 in Demo Mode
Android has a nifty feature for taking perfect screenshots with a full battery and without any notification icons appearing in the status bar. Demo Mode usually sets the time to the current version of Android. In DP4, the time is set to 7:00, likely hinting that Android N will be version 7.0.
Changed Quick Settings Toggle Behavior
Before DP4, the Quick Settings toggles at the top of the notifications panel immediately turned on/off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. In the current preview, tapping a toggle will open the full details screen of the Quick Setting. This is somewhat less convenient than before.
Show Emojis in Symbols Keyboard
The version of Google Keyboard that shipped with DP3 added multiple themes and the ability to make your own. The current version in DP4 no longer shows recently used emojis by default in the suggestions strip of the symbols keyboard. However, users can head to keyboard preferences to re-enable the useful feature.
Custom Pointer API
The new Custom Pointer API in Android N will allow developers to customize the appearance, visibility, and behavior of a pointer from a physical mouse or touchpad. Advanced functionality includes changing the pointer icon’s appearance based on specific mouse or touchpad movements. To get these custom features, developers will have to implement the API on an app-by-app basis.
Conversation View and Sticky Notifications
In Android N, developers get more control over the functionality and look of notifications. Not only do notifications show a mini conversation view and feature Directly Reply, but users can now maintain a conversation right from the notification shade (via AP).
Notifications from the version of Messenger that shipped with DP4 no longer auto dismiss after a Direct Reply. Instead the notification remains and even updates the conversation view with the latest sent message. This will conveniently allow users to maintain a conversation without having to go to the app. Hangouts has yet to be updated and most app notifications still dismiss themselves after a Direct Reply.