This past Wednesday, Google released the second developer beta of Android N to the world, introducing some new functionality and a few tweaks that made the next version of the mobile OS more enjoyable. And now that more new stuff has been found in the latest build, here’s a roundup of the latest noteworthy features discovered between now and Wednesday.
New Wallpaper Options
When setting a wallpaper, you now have to option to set the image as your Home screen wallpaper, your Lock screen wallpaper, or both. This is something that’s been on custom ROMs manufacturers flash on their devices for quite a while, however has never been found on stock Android until now.
It’s worth noting that there’s no built-in live wallpapers in DP2 of Android N, however when setting a third party one, there isn’t an option to set it as your lock screen background only. The one way to get around this is to set the wallpaper as your Home and Lock screen backgrounds together. It’s unclear whether developers need to update their apps to support the option or the feature just simply isn’t supported, but right now it looks like you’re stuck with your purring cat on both your Home and Lock screens.
New Overview Gesture
When on your Home screen, a two-finger pinch will bring up the overview menu which normally requires a long press on an empty space on your Home screen. This will allow users to not be required to have an empty space on their Home screens in order to access overview.
Improved App Options
When dragging an app from either the Home screen or the app drawer, there are more options available to take action on. For example, usually, when dragging an app from the Home screen, your only options were to remove the icon or uninstall the app all together. And when dragging from the app drawer, the “remove” option is replaced with “App info” while you still have to ability to uninstall the particular app. Now, when dragging from the app drawer, the options are “cancel,” “uninstall,” and “app info” at the bottom. When dragging from the home screen, cancel is replaced by “remove.” For stock apps, “uninstall” is absent, of course.
Refreshed Camera UI
Inside the stock Camera app in Android N DP2, a pretty nice refresh has taken place. For starters, taking photos while shooting video is back in addition to a slow-mo option in the side menu, a new, solid black panel, a new shutter button, and a refreshed icon for switching between front and rear-facing cameras which has gone from square to round. And according to Android Police, anyone on Android Marshmallow 6.0 or later can get this new Camera app right now via an APK. Here’s the release notes for the app:
You can now take photos while shooting video once again (there’s a new button on the top right)
Slow motion is now a separate pullout menu item rather than a button in regular video mode
Updated shutter button
Updated icon for front/rear camera swap
And here’s how to download it:
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
Disclaimer: Please note that not either MBEDDED or Android Police are responsible for any harm caused to your device. Do this at your own risk.
New “No recent apps” Screen
Instead of Andorra shrugging back at you “Your recent screens appear here” when you close all your open apps, Android N DP2 displays a stacked card image with the caption “No recent items” to indicate that no applications are running/open.
New Sixth Notification Setting
Google has renamed some of it’s notification settings along with add another one, however since the whole process of explaining the changes made is as complicated as it is, I’ll let Android Police do it for you:
In the second N preview, the 5 [previous] levels [of notifications] [from the first developer beta of Android N] are getting slightly renamed and there’s an sixth added level for very urgent notifications. First, you’ll notice a new Min importance setting level, but it does what the previous Low importance setting used to. The new Low importance is for what used to be the Normal importance previously. Yeah, Google likes to challenge us like that.
The difference in functionality is in the three upper levels. You can now let a notification make a sound without having it show on top of the list with Normal importance (that wasn’t possible in the old system), the new High importance is just the renamed Urgent importance from before, and the new Urgent importance does everything you need to notice the notification: peek, play sound, climb to the top of the notifications.
Here are the 5 Full importance settings from the first Dev Preview:
Blocked – never show these notifications
Low importance – silently show at the bottom of the notification list
Normal importance – silently show these notifications
High importance – show at the top of the notifications list and make sound
Urgent importance – peek onto the screen and make sound.
And the new 6 Full importance settings from Dev Preview 2:
Blocked – never show these notifications
Min importance – silently show at the bottom of the notification list
Low importance – silently show these notifications
Normal importance – allow these notifications to make sounds
High importance – peek on to the screen and allow sound
Urgent importance – show at the top of the notifications list, peek onto the screen and allow sound.
As you can see it’s a bit confusing at first and it requires a second scan to full comprehend it, however once you get it, you’ll be thankful it’s here.