Android 6.0 Marshmallow (in other words Android M or Android 6.0) has already gained its share of space, with focus now shifting towards the next Android operating system, coming out from the stable of Google. The subsequent anticipated Android OS version around the corner of 2016 will be termed Android “N”, slated for release or launch at Google’s I/O conference taking place on May 18-20 this year. Let us closely analyze what the buzz is all about surrounding Android N.
Google has strictly maintained the tradition of naming the Android OSes behind world’s most popular confectionaries with the likes of cupcake, donut, éclair, froyo, gingerbread, honeycomb, ice cream sandwich, jellybean, kitkat, lollipop, and marshmallow. Going on these lines, you can expect “N” standing for Nutella, Nougat, Nectar, or probably something unexpected. If we go by the inside sources then “Nutella” seems to top the list. However, only time will tell what the actual name turns out to be, because quite honestly the possibilities are endless.
Date of release
As we mentioned earlier, Android N is most likely to be announced at Google’s I/O conference taking place in May 2016 at Mountain View, California. The OS will observe a public release somewhere around October as per our predictions. There are strong reasons behind this. Firstly, Marshmallow got released around same time in October 2015. Secondly, it is an ideal period to do holiday shopping for Christmas, as new OS brings in new sales. Thirdly, Apple will be launching its latest iOS 10 in September, and hence there has to be something coming from Google to counteract iOS effect.
First phones to experience Android 7.0
As per the October release forecasts, you cannot expect Android smartphones to avail the latest OS right away. It is an undeniable fact that Google is going to launch a new smartphone under its flagship brand Nexus carrying Android N as a preinstalled OS. Old Nexus phones will get the updated OS right after that. Then virtually every other Android smartphone will be able to avail the OS by the beginning of the year 2017.
Features to expect
As Google’s I/O conference is approaching near, with only few months remaining, the speculations surrounding the conference is gaining momentum. Several features have already been confirmed by the tech giant, and several others are underway. Let us check out the combination of rumored as well as confirmed features Android 7.0 has in store for users.
a. Multiple window modes
Google has confirmed split screen mode showing up on Android N, keeping in mind user experience to be provided on both smartphone and tablet. This clearly means that with Android N, you can have multiple apps be operated together besides each other resulting in multitasking. Most Android smartphone manufacturers are already offering that in their modified Android versions. However, it will be something to talk about in a stock Android version.
b. Java APIs replaced by OpenJDK
There have been Oracle related issues faced with Java APIs in the past. Henceforth, Google has decided to move to OpenJDK with the release of Android 7.0. Since being a part of the Java Development Kit, OpenJDK is open source in nature. This leads to developers using a standard code base for building apps and related services.
c. Support for tablets enhanced with this version
Android N will accompany with itself a better support for tablet viewing and performance. What it really means is an improvement in customized navigational buttons, tablet optimized apps, and lots more.
d. Support provided for the stock stylus
Android N 7.0 will come up with a better stock support for stylus. Stylus pens at present not used extensively. However, for top-notch professional users like business people, will see a great deal of advantage in using stylus with the latest Android OS.
e. Say adieu to the app drawer
On one hand if iOS adds every new installed app on the home screen, Android on the other hand lets users to choose their pick in deciding which apps to be kept on home screen, and what not to keep with the help of a dedicated app drawer. However, the sources reveal that Android N will have no app drawer present in its pre-release versions.
Initially, Google planned to introduce a vertical scrolling list of apps switching from the horizontal alignment in case of Marshmallow. However, you might now see no app drawer present in case of “N”. This literally means that, just like iOS, now Android will let users have a direct access of every single app from the home screen itself, as soon as installed.
Even if the rumors prove to be true, users will still be able to organize apps and systematically reposition them, although they will have to go through the pain of accessing the full list. Nevertheless, you can always find the apps directly from Settings >> Apps. If in case, you are missing the app drawer part, just install a traditional launcher and get the missing part filled up.
f. Hamburger style menu making navigational use easier
From insider sources, it is revealed that Android N will feature a hamburger style menu. It is basically a side drawer showing sub menus side by side the main menu. This makes it easier for users to move between main menus and sub menus with ease, with users directly jumping on the relevant menu, without going to and forth between menus, using the back button. This feature is most likely to appear only in the sub menus, excluding the main menus, so that users do not feel a sense of redundancy while using the OS.
Will Android N change the fate of Android landscape?
Android N already has already built around much talk in the town months before actual release. However, it will be interesting to see the OS actually meeting user expectations or not, justifying the predictions to what extent. More importantly, it will be interesting how the company handles global audience reactions, especially if feedback includes negatives other than positive ones.
Whatever be the outcome, Android N has been successful in creating buzz within the technological arena, and all of them including the technology experts are waiting to see the changing smartphone sales scenario after the launch of Android 7.0.