Get ready for the new Android update
Android fans assemble: Google is getting ready to launch its latest update, secretively named ‘Android N’ later this year. This addition to the Android market will definitely be something to get excited about.
It’s currently available to developers for optimising Android apps, but those who have been able to test out the software report some big changes, such as multitasking and improvements to battery and notifications.
Android 7.0 N – getting the most of battery and data
It’s rumoured that this latest Android version will be 7.0 rather than a smaller interim update, following Android 6.0 Marshmallow last year. And a few of the changes are major:
Long gone are the days when you could charge your mobile phone once a week, and battery life is one of the biggest issues with all smartphones. Android phones will get some pretty big upgrades in this department, with an improved ‘Doze’ feature. Doze mode switches off certain background functions when the phone is on battery power, stationary, and has the screen switched off. This latest version adds even more restrictions; with some functions switching off while the phone is on battery power with the screen switched off, but not stationary.
A data saver mode will also let you restrict the data use of apps in the background – another problem for many smartphones. You’ll also be able to choose which apps get access to data even when data saver is on.
Phones and tablets have not quite had the same functionality as laptops and desktops when it comes to working efficiently in multiple apps. But this is changing across operating systems and devices, and Android N is no different. A split screen mode will be available, which lets you use two apps side by side, and even lets you change how much of the screen is taken up by each app. Some smartphones like Samsung and LG have had this function for a while, but Google is now rolling it into the software.
Introducing a quick-reply function lets you manage your notifications without stopping what you are doing, adding to the multitasking functionality. You’ll also be able to customise your notification drawer to access your most used apps. The new version will follow other operating systems like Apple iOS 8 in making notifications easier to use.
The new version includes improved accessibility functions to make things more user-friendly for people with low or impaired vision, like being able to change the display size.
So, when can we try the new operating system?
All in all, this is making the Android update look pretty exciting. Google released the developer version early; it has been available for developers since March 2016 to test on Google Nexus phones and tablets, along with a few other models. The launch for us mere mortals will reportedly not be until October this year though, leaving plenty of time to build up the anticipation. And anticipate we will.