Android Marshmallow, the latest version of Google's smartphone operating system, may only be on a small percentage of compatible phones. But that’s not stopping the company looking to the future with the early release of the next edition, Android N.
Available to download now in an extremely early stage of development, Android N promises to bring some major improvements to Google’s OS.
Chief among them is a split-screen view for apps, which takes advantage of the fact that countless Android phones now come with screens in excess of five inches. This is a feature that power users have been crying out for.
Battery life is said to be better thanks to an updated version of the Doze feature first seen in Marshmallow. Google has designed this to squeeze out more battery life when a screen is in sleep mode.
There’s the ability to reply to notifications directly from an alert on the screen, rather than having to dive into an app. A similar tool has proved hugely popular on Apple’s iOS and we expect this to repeat the success on Android.
In the past, Google has released previews of its new operating system at its summer I/O event. However, this early launch suggests it wants to iron out as many kinks as possible before an official release towards the end of the year.
Owners of a Nexus 6 and higher can snag Android N now, although it’s worth knowing that the system is buggy and only for those who really want to see what Google has lined up for the future.