Google first unveiled their Android 6.0 version over a year ago now, but it hasn’t been received particularly well since it’s release in October. In fact, it is currently struggling in terms of usage as research details that Marshmallow only received installs on 1.2% of Android devices during the first four months after its official release.
While Android M is still garnering a following, its successor is already creating sizable buzz online, especially after Google released its third developer preview in mid-May. The final version of the next Google mobile ecosystem is expected to be launched later this year.
Many predict that the next Android version will be more successful than the current OS, as Google programmers have learned a lot from their failed attempt with the Marshmallow update. One of the challenges of the current Android is that not all newly released mobile devices necessarily come with that OS installed. In fact, many low- to mid-range smartphones this year were still equipped with the Lollipop version, including the Galaxy J5 released in April. Based on the information shared by O2, the handset comes with impressive specifications, including a built-in Google Photos app that is one of the most desired features of Android 5.0.
Now that the third version of the developer preview has provided selected users with the features to expect from the next Android OS, many app developers are awaiting updates on how to fit their work into this new mobile ecosystem. Although the developer preview often contains features that do not appear on the consumer version, many exciting functionalities are worth noting and have a strong chance of appearing on the next mobile OS. Read on below to find out some of the eagerly anticipated features set to be in Android N.
Faster App Optimization
Loading and installing apps, including upgrading OS on the next Android will be much faster as Google included quicker app optimization on the 7.0 version. Instead of waiting for several seconds to launch an app, it is now pre-compiled through a process called ‘Ahead-of-Time’ that ensures it starts the app in an instant upon tapping the icon. This was the upgraded version of the Android Runtime (ART) virtual machine, which was previewed in KitKat and fully launched in Lollipop.
Users should expect shorter system updates, which used to take 20 minutes or more, as the next Google mobile OS switches back to ‘Just-in-Time’ compilations. However, while users should expect their installations to be faster, it will continue to download apps even during idle time.
Move to OpenJDK
Early this year, Google confirmed they would replace Java APIs and use Oracle’s open-source OpenJDK. A representative of the search engine company confirmed it through VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future,” said a Google representative. The company’s decision to “consolidate” through OpenJDK is an indication that they are moving away from implementing their own code and using the open-source code of Oracle. They hope app developers will appreciate this update as it simplifies the code in which they build apps.
Apps can now be tested on the third developer preview version, and developers will be happy to know it received “beta-quality candidate” status. It supports selected Google-produced handsets, including Nexus 5X and above.
Some of its other highlighted features are seamless updates that are similar to the feature that Google added on the Chrome OS and the VR mode. They confirmed that their team is working hard to provide high quality mobile VR experience, “from how the operating system reads sensor data to how it sends pixels to the display.”
Android N will be released in the third quarter of 2016, giving developers until September 30 to fix their apps before the launch of the next Google mobile OS.
Exclusively written for Ekreative