Thursday, April 14, 2016

Google Releases Android N Developer Preview 2 As Build NPC91K

 
As promised Google released the Android N Developer Preview 2 (DP2) as build NPC91K for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One). After pushing out the first Android N Developer Preview a month ago, this new preview contains fixes that you pointed out to Google along with a solid list of new stuff. 
As for what’s new, Google says that they have fully deployed “Vulkan (a new 3D rendering API), Emoji Unicode 9 for more human-like designs, UI shortcuts to help users get to what they need faster, as well as performance improvements .”
Here is the full list, according to Google:

  • Vulkan: Vulkan is a new 3D rendering API which we’ve helped to develop as a member of Khronos, geared at providing explicit, low-overhead GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) control to developers and offers a significant boost in performance for draw-call heavy applications. Vulkan’s reduction of CPU overhead allows some synthetic benchmarks to see as much as 10 times the draw-call throughput on a single core as compared to OpenGL ES. Combined with a threading-friendly API design which allows multiple cores to be used in parallel with high efficiency, this offers a significant boost in performance for draw-call heavy applications. With Android N, we’ve made Vulkan a part of the platform; you can try it out on supported devices running Developer Preview 2.
  • Launcher shortcuts: Now, apps can define shortcuts which users can expose in the launcher to help them perform actions quicker. These shortcuts contain an Intent into specific points within your app (like sending a message to your best friend, navigating home in a mapping app, or playing the next episode of a TV show in a media app).
  • Emoji Unicode 9 support: We are introducing a new emoji design for people emoji that moves away from our generic look in favor of a more human-looking design. If you’re a keyboard or messaging app developer, you should start incorporating these emoji into your apps. The update also introduces support for skin tone variations and Unicode 9 glyphs, like the bacon, selfie and face palm. You can dynamically check for the new emoji characters using Paint.hasGlyph().
  • Multi-Window: You can now specify a separate minimum height and minimum width for an activity. In addition, several API names have been slightly changed.
  • API changes: This update includes API changes as we continue to refine features such as multi-window support (you can now specify a separate minimum height and minimum width for an activity), notifications, and others. For details, take a look at the diff reports available in the downloadable API reference package.

Here are some of the issues that have been fixed:

  • Can’t connect to hidden SSID or non-broadcast Wi-Fi. (bug 203116)
  • Microphone mute state persists across activities. (bug 205922)
  • Changing multi-window focus pauses YouTube. (bug 203424)
  • Direct Reply may close open activity. (bug 204411)
  • Various stability fixes.

Here are some device specific issues you should expect to see in DP2:

  • SeedData connection fails when device is switched from slot 1 to slot 2 SIM.
  • RyuUnable to toggle Voice Search “Always On” option.
  • Shamu:  Camera pictures in portrait orientation are corrupted, except for HDR+ photos.
  • FuguPlayback of Netflix HD content is known to fail on Nexus Player; Any application that relies on dynamic video resolution changes may fail on Nexus Player; Any application that use the VP9 video codec may fail on Nexus Player.

As a reminder, you can get the update over-the-air (OTA) through the new Android Beta program or you can manually flash the new images like you have done for years. You’ll find the new images here.