Google Keep screenshot

Google Keep‘s new feature will help you search notes much quicker.

Google has just announced a new update for Google Keep that’s rolling out now on Android, iOS and the web. The note-taking app will now organize your notes by automatically creating topics like food, places, books, quotes and travel for easier searching.

Here’s how it works. Don’t want to scroll through your long list of notes? Just tap the search icon at the top, and you’ll see a number of different topics that will bring you to your notes pertaining to that particular category. So if you have a grocery list or recipe saved in Keep, those notes will be added to the Food category. Same thing goes for music-related notes; I have a note saved in Keep telling me to download Pedro the Lion’s Whole EP, and Keep automatically added it to the music category. Very cool!

#GoogleKeep organized. Search automagically created topics like books, food and quotes for @Android, iPhones and web pic.twitter.com/wccSbThYpQ

— Google Docs (@googledocs) June 29, 2016

Google Keep best note taking apps for androidSee also: Best note taking apps for Android27

As previously stated, the update is rolling out now on Android, iOS and the web. Follow the Play Store link below to grab the latest version!

Get it from Google Play

Android Nougat logo

The wait is over! Google has officially revealed that the next version of Android will be known as Android Nougat!

Introducing #AndroidNougat. Thank you, world, for all your sweet name ideas! #AndroidNReveal pic.twitter.com/7lIfDBwyBE

— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016

Aside from the official name, no other details have been disclosed about the new version of Android. We will let you know the details once they start rolling in.

Update: Here’s the official Android Nougat statue outside of Google HQ.

The time has arrived! #AndroidNReveal pic.twitter.com/vtbSOjQvWh

— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016

The Android N developer preview gives us a sneak peek into what Android 7.0 Nougat will look like when it officially arrives later this year. Of course, developer previews quite often contain features that won’t make it to the final release but there’s still plenty to get excited about, so let’s dive right in. Here are all the Android Nougat features from the latest Android N preview updates as well as others we expect to see in future. Please note that some features have been officially confirmed by Google, while others, “confirmed” by the developer preview, could still disappear before Android 7.0.

Update: Google has officially revealed the Android N name: Nougat. Based on other clues outlined below, we now know the next major Android release will be known as Android 7.0 Nougat.

Android N logo AA

Confirmed Android Nougat features:

Android N name

Google has revealed the official name for Android N is going to be Android Nougat, not Android Nutella, as many had hoped (just check the comments under Google’s tweet for confirmation). Based on other clues from Google I/O and in developer previews, we now know the next major Android version will be Android 7.0 Nougat.

At one point Sundar Pichai said he’d ask his mother or let fans vote for the official Android N name and, true to form, Google did a Google Opinions Rewards poll on dessert names starting with the letter ‘N’. Android N was known internally as New York Cheesecake and during the I/O keynote, users were invited to suggest names for Android N.

Introducing #AndroidNougat. Thank you, world, for all your sweet name ideas! #AndroidNReveal pic.twitter.com/7lIfDBwyBE

— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016

Android Nougat release date

Rather than wait until Google I/O 2016, Google decided to surprise us all by releasing the first Android N developer preview on March 9, two full months earlier than expected. The Android N preview went live for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 (Wi-Fi and LTE), Nexus Player and Pixel C on the Android Developers site. The first beta release candidate appeared during Google I/O on May 18, 2016.

Google surprised us all by releasing the first Android N developer preview on March 9, two full months earlier than expected.

The final Android 7.0 Nougat release date has been confirmed for Q3, 2016, giving Google until September 30 to make good on its timeline. This means that the Nexus 6P (2016) and Nexus 5X (2016) – or whatever they will be called this year – will be coming a little earlier than expected too, as the new version of Android is always presented alongside new Nexus devices.

The Nexus 4 was announced on October 29, the Nexus 5 on October 31, the Nexus 6 on October 15, the Nexus 5X and 6P on September 29. So we might even see this year’s Nexuses earlier in September rather than the end of the month if the progressively earlier announcement dates are anything to go by. Google revealed the official name for Android N – Nougat – on June 30, 2016.

Android N logo AASee also: The Android N update schedule61

allo-Google IO 2016

During Google I/O 2016, all the screenshots and mockups featured the time 7:00 – Google’s traditional method of hinting at the next Android version number. While we now know Android N is Android 7.0 Nougat, Google did offer users the chance to vote on the Android N name at android.com/n (although the submission guidelines noted that it was meant for entertainment purposes only and that submissions would not be judged).

The final Android 7 release will be limited to Nexus devices at first and make its way to other manufacturer devices and carrier networks over the following six months or so. You can download the Android N preview below and flash it on a compatible device right now but be sure to consult the list of known issues first. Google is attempting to stick to a monthly update schedule for the Android Nougat previews.

Android N freeform windows mode


Android N Developer Preview 4:

Quick Settings toggle changes

For some strange reason, Google decided to change the Quick Settings toggle action when pressed once. Previously, tapping a toggle would turn a setting on or off straight away. In Dev Preview 4, it takes you to a mini settings menu instead (the same one previously accessed by tapping the word Wi-Fi or Bluetooth under their respective icon). This is a strange decision and one not likely to be very popular with users. (Update: Google has now confirmed it will change the Quick Settings toggle action back to the way it was – and should be.

Namey McNameface Easter Egg

If you remember the discussion at Google I/O 2016 about crowdsourcing the official Android N name, you will probably remember the joke Dave Burke made about not calling it Namey McNameface (hopefully you know the Boaty McBoatface story or the joke will be lost on you). Well, in Android N Developer Preview 4, the Easter Egg now shows a big old N emblazoned with Namey McNameface. The official name may now be Android Nougat, but it’s still pretty funny.

Android N Easter egg Namey McNameface

Android N will be Android 7.0

We’ve previously mentioned how all the clocks in the screenshots at I/O were set to 7:00 – Google’s usual way of telling us what the next Android version number will be. Well, we’ve now pretty much had Android 7.0 confirmed: if you turn on Demo Mode in the Android N preview 4 you’ll see that the time is set to 7:00 as well.

Recently used emoji removed from Google Keyboard

This isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but as you probably realize, we’re now at the polishing and fine-tuning stage of Android N, so the changes we see are going to get less sexy the closer we get to go time. In Dev Preview 3, recently used emoji would appear in the suggested word field of the symbol tab in the Google Keyboard. In Dev Preview 4 you’ll have to enable that option in the keyboard settings: the default state no longer shows emoji.

Android N Google Keyboard settings emoji

Custom Pointer and other final APIs

The fourth Dev Preview contains the final Android 7.0 APIs and SDK. One of those final APIs is the Custom Pointer API, which will be utilized by devs to get their apps ready for keyboard and mouse control, essential for Android apps on Chrome OS. API 24 is the new target for developers and they are now able to publish apps supporting API 24 to Google Play in the alpha, beta and production release channels.

Android Auto navigation is broken

This is hardly a feature, but it has cropped up enough on the Android bug tracker to warrant the attention of the Android team. Remember, Android N is a developer release, so things occasionally get broken. You can rest assured it will be working again by the time your devices get the official Android 7.0 update though.

best gps apps and navigation apps for android


Android N Developer Preview 3:

Sustained Performance Mode

The idea behind Sustained Performance Mode (SPM) APIs in Android N is to allow developers to self-identify apps that need to run at high intensity for long durations, like VR apps or hi-res games. Using the SPM API allows devs to set performance levels that are sustainable for the duration without totally destroying the CPU and battery. For now, only the Nexus 6P supports SPM APIs in Dev Preview 3, but we expect that number to expand in the fourth developer preview.

Seamless updates

This is one of the cooler features coming up in Android N. Instead of being required to download an Android update, install it and reboot, Android N will automatically download and install it on a secondary partition. The next time you reboot your device, Android will switch partitions and you’ll have the latest Android version without having to labor through the updating process yourself. The JIT compiler also means you’ll no longer see the “Android is upgrading” screen following a reboot either.

android update 2

No more Launcher Shortcuts for Android N

Launcher Shortcuts – the ability to create custom action shortcuts on your home screen – has officially been axed for Android 7.0. The Google Developers Blog release notes on Dev Preview 3 confirm it won’t appear until a future Android release and that the API will be removed in the next developer preview.

Multi-Locale Mode for polyglot language support

Multi-lingual Android users have always struggled with the rather limited support for more than one language in Android. Android N’s new Multi-Locale Mode aims to address that imbalance by allowing users to add multiple languages in order of priority, so the system can switch from one to the other when necessary. Apps that don’t support the primary language will simply drop to the next on the priority list.

android n multi language locale

Dark Theme gone yet again, Night Mode remains

We have no idea what’s going on with Google and Android’s Dark Theme. It first appeared back in the Android M developer previews but never made it to Marshmallow proper. It then resurfaced in Android N with multiple impressive advancements but is now gone, yet again.

Google has said that Night Mode and the Dark Theme are “very unlikely” to make it into the final Android 7.0 release, but that it hasn’t ruled them out entirely. Apparently, neither feature met Google’s performance standards. In Dev Preview 3, Dark Theme is gone, but Night Mode remains in the Quick Settings.

Google Keyboard themes

Google giveth and Google taketh away. Just as we lose the beloved Dark Theme for Android as a whole, we gain themes for the Google Keyboard in Android N. Version 5.1 of Google Keyboard adds a bunch of colorful theming options, including the ability to set your own image background.

Google Keyboard themes version 5.1 3

More changes to multitasking

Multitasking in Android N is an emotional rollercoaster of proportions akin to the Dark Theme. The first Dev Preview had a bunch of new multitasking options (see below), some of which were removed in Dev Preview 2. In Dev Preview 3 things change again. App switching between your two most recent apps by double-tapping the multitasking button remains (thank heavens), but the number of apps will be reduced to seven.

The “Clear All” button at the top of the card stack has mysteriously switched sides: from left in Preview 2 to right in preview 3. Launching multi-window mode in the recents list is now activated by long-pressing an app and dragging it up rather than left in Dev Preview 2. You can still enable a swipe-up gesture on the recents button to launch multi-window mode in the System UI Tuner settings.

Android N dev preview 3 clear all

Other new stuff in Android N (Dev Preview 3)

As mentioned above, the Android N Developer Preview 3 is more about fine-tuning likely Android 7.0 features and removing those unlikely to make the cut. Sadly for fans of the Dark Theme and Night Mode, Launcher Shortcuts, advanced multitasking shortcuts, those funky new folder icons or the shutter button in video mode, it looks like these features may not make the cut.

Android N dev preview 3 wallpapers


Android N Developer Preview 2:

New folder icons

The first thing anyone installing Developer Preview 2 will notice is the new-look folder icons on the home screen. They don’t do anything functionally different to the old folder icon style, they simply show partial app icons through a circular “window”. If you have three apps in the folder you’ll see them in a pyramid formation, while even numbers appear in a grid orientation. (Update: these folder icons have now been removed.)

“Clear All” in Recent Apps menu

The app switcher has received a new Clear All button in the top left hand corner. When I say top left hand corner, I mean it. You won’t see it at the top of the multitasking card stack unless you’re at the first card in the stack (i.e. the “oldest” app in the list). There’s also a new image shown when the app switcher is empty.

The app switching shortcuts that debuted in the first Developer Preview have also changed. You no longer tap the Recents button to “scroll” through apps (there’s no countdown timer either) and entering split-screen mode is also different: you either long-press the Recents button when in a full-screen app or you long-press an app in the Recents list and drag it to the left.

Android N Developer Preview 2 home screen folders recent apps clear all

Lock screen Quick Reply

You know how the last preview introduced Quick Reply direct from the notification shade? Well, this preview takes it one step further by allowing you to reply to notifications direct from the lock screen. Just got to Settings > Notifications > Settings > On the lock screen to set your preference.

Remember, privacy is obviously a great concern here, so be careful. Once enabled, anyone that picks up your phone is able to Quick Reply to any installed app that supports the feature, and that could be dangerous. A granular option for enabling individual apps would be a much better idea than this blanket approach.

Android N Developer Preview 2 lock screen quick reply notification

Launcher shortcuts on the home screen

If you’re at all familiar with Action Launcher or Nova Launcher, then you’d also be familiar with the idea of app shortcuts or actions based on gestures. The idea is pretty straightforward: tap the app icon on a home screen to launch it or swipe it to instantly launch an app-related task, like emailing your regular, WhatsApping your bestie or composing a new tweet.

The Android N Developer Preview 2 has also (kind of) introduced this idea to stock Android. The reason I say “kind of” is because although the feature is there it’s brand new, so no apps have yet taken advantage of it. Here’s what Google has to say about launcher shortcuts in its Android N documentation:

Android N allows apps to define action-specific shortcuts which can be displayed in the launcher. These launcher shortcuts let your users quickly start common or recommended tasks within your app. Each shortcut contains an intent, which links the shortcut to a specific action in your app.

Your app can create up to five dynamic shortcuts. When users perform a gesture over your app’s launcher icon, these shortcuts appear. By dragging the shortcuts onto the launcher, users can make persistent copies of the shortcuts, called pinned shortcuts. Users can create an unlimited number of pinned shortcuts for each app.

Android N Developer Preview 2 landscape format app drawer

Camera changes

The camera interface is slightly different with some new icons and you can now take photos while recording video via a dedicated shutter button above the recording button. (Update: the shutter button has disappeared in Dev Preview 3.) Shooting photos on HDR mode is much faster than it used to be and Slow Motion has re-appeared in the hamburger menu navigation drawer.

Unicode 9.0 emoji support

The new Android N Developer Preview 2 also introduces Unicode 9.0 emoji, which are so new they haven’t even been announced yet. Besides a bunch of fun new emoji, Unicode 9.0 also “humanizes” many of its emoji, as opposed to the familiar cartoonish emoji in previous versions of Unicode.

Android N emoji 1

Other new stuff in Android N (Dev Preview 2)

Vulkan is a sexy new 3D Rendering API that promises to manage multiple cores in an even more efficient and fluid manner. Android N dev preview 2 now supports the Vulkan API so developers can start getting their apps ready.

In the Quick Settings there’s a new toggle for the calculator. While some will find this convenient it is a little out of place, because it serves as a shortcut to the full app. It also doesn’t serve as a toggle at all, because there’s nothing to turn on or off or any further menu items to be accessed.

Android N Developer PReview 2 Quick Settings calculator wallpaper options

What else? Landscape mode rotation now works on both the home screen and in the app drawer. Night Mode now works automatically. You can set a wallpaper to your home screen, lock screen or both. There’s also a new setup screen called “Anything else?” and a redesigned Emergency Info app.

Google has also made the drag and drop options for app icons more consistent. When dragging apps on the home screen the top options will be Remove and Uninstall and from the app drawer they will be Cancel and Uninstall. Both actions now include an App Info option at the bottom of the screen. (Update: The App Info shortcut doesn’t appear in Dev Preview 3.)

Android N Developer Preview 2 home screen drag options notification urgency

Apps with sensitive content (like password managers) will no longer show a preview in the Recent Apps list. You can pinch the home screen to access the home screen management overview and there is a slight change to the priority settings for apps in the notifications. There are now six options for setting the urgency of an app’s notifications, from Blocked to Urgent Importance.

Android N Dveeloper Preview 2 Beta Program download anything else setup


Android N Developer Preview 1:

Multi-window mode

The first official Android N feature to be confirmed was multi-window mode, with the confirmation coming, obscurely enough, via a Reddit AMA with the Pixel C team a few months back. During the discussion, Andrew Bowers confirmed that “split screen is in the works” and with the release of Android N developer preview 1, we can now see exactly how Android 7.0 split screen mode will look.

Compatible apps (developers will need to add support for split screen mode individually) can be opened up side-by-side in Android N and resized with a movable slider. You can drag and drop text between split screen windows and go full screen by dragging the slider all the way to the edge.

Developers will be able to set a minimum size for their app windows but you’ll have a very similar multitasking experience to what you already find on many OEM devices. There’s also a new picture-in-picture mode for Android TV that works just like minimized video in YouTube.

Android N multi window-AA

Enhanced Doze Mode

As predicted, everybody’s favorite Marshmallow feature, Doze Mode, has also been improved in Android N. Doze now features a two-tier system. The first operates whenever the screen has been off for a while, whether your phone is stationary or not. This means you can now enjoy the benefits of Doze Mode anytime your phone is not being used, even when it is in your pocket or backpack. The other layer of Doze Mode works as before, but with some more improvements. When your phone is lying still, it will enter a deeper hibernation mode, deferring network and other activity until widely spaced-out “maintenance” windows before slipping back to sleep.

Freeform window mode

One feature that’s not officially part of the Android N developer preview right now is freeform window mode. As an unofficial part of a developer preview for an Android version that won’t arrive officially until six months from now, it is far from ready for prime time, but it works pretty much as you’d expect it to. You can launch multiple apps at the one time, resize them and move them around the screen however you like. Drag and drop text is also supported in freeform window mode.

Android N freeform windows mode

New Android N settings menu

Android N delivers a revamped settings menu too. The changes include the addition of a Suggestions drop-down section at the top and removal of the individual section dividers. One of the best changes though is that you can now see basic details of each section in the main Settings menu. So, for example, rather than have to enter the Wi-Fi menu to see which network you’re connected to, Android N displays that information in the top-level settings menu. It’s an obvious time-saving idea and is kind of surprising it has taken this long to appear. Sound and Notifications have now been given their own dedicated sections too, rather than being grouped together like in Marshmallow.

The hamburger menu returns and has now been explained, providing a swipe-out nav drawer that simply reproduces the top-level settings menu sections. While it’s debatable if it is any better than just tapping the back arrow when you’re one level into a menu, it will provide a quick escape route to the main settings when you’re several levels down in sub-menus. Of course, the presence of the hamburger menu in Android N also does away with the duplicated actions of the back arrow in the settings and the back arrow in the nav bar.

android-n-settings (3)
android-n-settings (4)

Revamped Quick Settings panel

Both the notification shade and quick settings panel have received some interface tweaks in the newest version of Android. You’ll now see a thin strip of toggles at the top of the notifications shade for frequently used things like Wi-Fi, Do Not Disturb, battery and the flashlight. Some of these can be toggled on and off directly, while others will take you to a sub-menu (long-pressing the flashlight will launch the camera).

A small arrow at the right hand side will open up the full Quick Settings panel. Quick Settings is now paginated and you can edit which icons appear at the top of the notifications shade and Google has added new System UI Tuner options for Quick Settings like Night Mode and offered developers the ability to create their own custom Quick Settings icons.

Android N quick settings

Redesigned notifications shade

The notifications shade itself has also been revamped, with the main change being the removal of distinct cards. Android’s notifications area is now flatter than ever, with just a thin line separating individual notifications although when you swipe down the Quick Settings, the cards will stack as before. Profile pics from your contacts now appear on the right rather than the left and app icons have been minimized.

You also get a lot more information in each card compared to Marshmallow and there’s a new grouped notifications API that allows apps to bundle notifications together. Best of all though is the ability to respond to notifications directly from within the notifications shade (Hangouts already supports Android N’s Quick Reply function).

Android N notifications AA 1

Change display size in Android N

Android N also allows you to change the display size on your device, also known as changing your display’s DPI setting. Simply go to Settings> Display > Display Size and slide the slider to change the size of on-screen content.

Faster app optimization in Android N

Following the switch to Android Runtime (ART) in Android Lollipop from the decrepit Dalvik runtime used in KitKat and before, some users have become tired of the amount of time it takes to optimize apps following an Android update. Upon first boot, the ART optimizes all apps using Ahead-of-Time compilation (whereby apps are compiled once – at boot – and then effectively launch faster from there on out).

In Android N however, things have changed again. Now, rather than at first boot, apps are compiled Just-in-Time (JIT) the first time you launch them and are then stored in memory for faster launches next next time. This means faster reboots every time and no more “android is upgrading” screen after a reboot.

Android Marshmallow Recent Apps

Recent apps and multitasking in Android N

The recent apps menu in Android N has also been revised and improved, with larger cards in the recent apps stack and new functionality. As usual, tapping the square button will bring up a cascade of your most recently used apps. But if you double tap the square button instead you’ll quickly switch between your current app and the one you used last.

While you’re in the recent apps list, tapping the recent apps button again will cycle you through your most recently used apps one by one (as opposed to swiping through the list) and if you let the small countdown slider beneath the app bar expire, the app will go full-screen. Long-pressing the recent apps button will launch multi-window mode, as you can see in the video below.

(Update: These last two features are disabled in Developer Preview 2. Cycling through Recent Apps is back to normal and you now enter split-screen mode by either long-pressing an app in the app switcher and dragging it to the left or by holding down the Recent Apps button while in another app.)

New Data Saver feature in Android N

Android N is also trying to help you take even more control than you already have over data usage by adding a new Data Saver feature. When the setting is enabled, it will stop background syncing from occurring except when connected to Wi-Fi. Not only will Data Saver block background activity from chewing up your data allowance, it also attempts to limit the amount of data apps use in the foreground as well. Fortunately, you can also whitelist specific apps you want syncing as per usual while still making general use of Data Saver mode.

Dark Mode returns in Android N!

All hail the return of Dark Mode! Or as it is called in Android N, Night Mode. Following its removal form the Android M preview builds last year, a lot of us have been waiting a long time to see the return of a dark mode in stock Android. The Android team has made it worth the wait though, by not just offering a dark system-wide theme, but also adding some cool new features too, like tint control to limit the amount of blue light in your display (great for allowing you to sleep after playing on your phone late at night).

Night Mode can be enabled automatically at certain times of day and there’s an automatic brightness limiting option as well. This was definitely worth waiting for. (Update: Night Mode works automatically in Developer Preview 2.)

Android N Dark Mode-AA

Improved call screening and number blocking

Android N attempts to improve on the multiple different methods manufacturers have come up with over the years to block certain numbers or screen calls by baking a standard into the latest version of Android. Like fingerprint support and multi-window mode, this means that these rather essential processes should become more consistent across devices and manufacturers because they are a stock feature of Android rather than a later addition.

Put emergency info on your lock screen

This is one of those good ideas that probably won’t get appreciated as much as it should be. Android N now has a setting that allows you to provide a link to your emergency information on your lock screen, including your name, blood type, address, allergies and other essential information that may be required if you find yourself in an accident and unable to communicate. It isn’t in the best location yet (but this could easily change in future Android N previews)and it’s not necessarily the kind of information you’d want being available to anyone that might steal your phone. but it’s a step in the right direction at least.

android-n-emergency

Android Beta Program

One of the niftiest Android N features is the appearance of the Android Beta Program, which takes the flashing hassle out of getting early access to developer previews of Android. Simply sign up for the program and add the device or devices on which you’d like to receive beta versions of Android and you’ll get over-the-air updates rather than having to flash factory images.

The Android Beta Program takes the flashing hassle out of getting early access to developer previews of Android.

It’s kind of the lazy man’s developer preview installation method, but it also means more everyday folks can flash developer previews and help identify bugs prior to the final release. However, if you’re not already the type of person that is comfortable flashing factory images you might want to think twice about signing up, as preview builds are buggy, incomplete and occasionally unstable, so they’re not really fit for daily driver status. Also, if you flash the factory image, you won’t receive the monthly OTA preview updates.

Moving to OpenJDK from Java APIs

Following a sticky situation with Oracle over “rewritten” Java APIs , Google will officially be making the switch to OpenJDK in Android N. It’s still Oracle code, but OpenJDK is, as the name, suggests, part of the open-source Java Development Kit. As Google confirmed: “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.” The change should make development for Android N that much simpler and external changes will be negligible.

Android M Easter Egg-8

Other new stuff in Android N (Dev Preview 1)

It doesn’t take long for developers and modders to get stuck into new Android releases and Android N has been no different. Features have been scraped, vulnerabilities identified, tweaks enabled and undercurrents noticed. Here are just a few tidbits of what’s been happening since Android N arrived

android n logo

Confirmed Android N features:

Project Tango and Daydream VR support

No surprises here either. Following the official announcement of Daydream VR and updates on Project Tango at Google I/O 2016, we now know that both platforms will be officially supported in Android 7.0. We’ll just have to wait a little while longer to see exactly how they get implemented.

New messaging app – Allo and Duo

Prior to Google I/O, multiple rumors circulated regarding a new messaging app based on the Rich Communications Services (RCS) platform. RCS allows for much more than just talk and text to be shuttled around, including video chat, file sharing and instant messaging. During I/O, Google announced Allo and Duo, companion messaging and video chat apps scheduled to arrive later this year and ship with Android N. Allo will be the first home for the new Google Assistant.

allo-Google IO 2016

Rumored Android N features:

Stock stylus support

As we previously reported, Samsung may have hinted at stock stylus support in Android N by planning to retire several of the main S Pen features from its Look API. The Samsung developers page makes the notation that these features “will be deprecated in Android N” – a term used to describe a soon-to-be-obsolete feature. The natural assumption is that these stylus features will appear in stock Android 7.0. The same thing happened with battery saving in Lollipop and fingerprint support in Marshmallow.

nexus 6p vs samsung galaxy note 5 aa (24 of 26)

Improved Smart Lock for Passwords

Android Marshmallow introduced Smart Lock for Passwords, a basic Google password manager that can store your app passwords so that any time you re-install an app you will be automatically logged in. Combined with Android’s revitalised app backup, the idea is that the whole process of setting up a new device is seamless. The only problem is that not that many apps support Smart Lock for passwords yet so its value is still largely underutilized. With any luck, Android N will see a lot more apps supporting the feature.

Google Smart Lock passwords aa

No Android N app drawer

Prior to MWC 2016 we were told that Android N would ditch the app drawer, one of Android’s most iconic features. Then, during the show, the evidence started piling up, with the LG G5 and HTC One X9 arriving without an app drawer and the Galaxy S7 having an option to remove it. While the new Xperia X range does have an app drawer, Sony’s Marshmallow concept provides a “classic” and “modern” view – with and without the app drawer.

We’re very happy to see the app drawer is present and accounted for in the Android N developer preview, and while we can’t guarantee it will stay there, at this stage it certainly looks like our worse fears have been laid to rest. Now, we simply have to figure out why so many Android OEMs seem to have it in for the feature in their current flagships?

android no app drawer

Chrome OS integration

Last year The Wall Street Journal “confirmed” that Android and Chrome OS would be merged, only to have Google set the record straight soon after. While the initial report claimed that Chrome OS would be killed off, Google responded by saying it was fully committed to Chrome OS and the platform was “here to stay” but that it is looking at “ways to bring together the best of both operating systems.” Following Google I/O, we now know that Android apps will soon be available on Chrome OS.

Did we miss anything? Let us know what Android N features you’re expecting or looking forward to in the comments.

Read next: All the Google I/O 2016 announcements

Android N Easter egg Namey McNameface

Update: Android Nougat is now official!

Original post: The wait is almost over, folks.

Android N is getting an official name today!

We’re revealing something sweet today! Follow along here. #NameAndroidN #AndroidNRevealhttps://t.co/HSUWI5sm3F

— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016

Any final guesses as to what it will be? I personally think it will be named Nutmeg, but Nutella seems to be a popular choice, too. Let us know what you think it will be in the comments!

Facebook apps

When you stop and think about it, the way that most people share links on Facebook is a bit antiquated. Copying the URL from the desired site, then navigating to Facebook and pasting it in the status field? What are we, Amish?

Fortunately, Facebook is offering a more modern solution. The social giant has announced that they have created Chrome plugins that let you share current content in just a few clicks, or save what you’re looking at for future perusal. Installing these plugins will add convenient buttons in the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser, so broadcasting interesting content has never been easier.

facebook messenger sms (1)See also: Facebook criticized for heavy-handed Messenger SMS push44

These Chrome plugins come part and parcel with some small alterations to Facebook’s social plugin buttons for use on websites far and wide. The company has streamlined their old engagement buttons for a cleaner design that ditches the Facebook “f” in favor of the ubiquitous thumbs-up “like” icon. Check out the official announcement if you’re interested in learning more.

Click the buttons below to grab these plugins for Chrome, then head over to the comments and let us know how well they’re working for you!

Get Share to Facebook on ChromeGet Save to Facebook on Chrome

playstation-vue

If you’re a subscriber to Sony’s television streaming service PlayStation Vue, then you’re in luck! Soon you’ll be able to stream your favorite programs to your Android devices and control the PlayStation from your smartphone. We got a hint that this would be coming soon earlier last week, but we didn’t have a specific arrival date. Now we’re happy to report that the PlayStation Vue app has just hit the Play Store.

Newcomers to Vue might experience some initial difficulties, however. The app doesn’t have a sign-up capability, which is a bit odd for this sort of app. You’ll have to sign up online or through your PlayStation if you want in on these channels. Ratings in the Play Store indicate that this app is still a bit rough around the edges in several regards, but we can hope that the developers will continue to improve it now that it’s arrived on our favorite operating system.

playstation-vuePreviously: PlayStation Vue coming to Android next week15

For those not familiar with Vue, it’s essentially a television package that streams completely over the internet instead of going through traditional cable providers. Prices for the service range from $29.99 to $54.99 per month, depending on how many channels you want and how many premium movie services you’d like to have access to.

Since you can use the mobile app to either control the PlayStation app or to stream videos directly, you technically don’t even have to have a PlayStation 3 or 4 to make use of this service. Click the button below to grab it from the Play Store, and let us know what you think of PlayStation Vue in the comments below. Worth the money, or do you prefer sticking with other streamers?

Get it in the Play Store

OnePlus-3-10

The situation in Europe is still developing surrounding the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Politics aside, there’s one thing that’s for sure, and that’s that Brexit has caused a high level of uncertainty in a number of markets. The smartphone industry has not been left unscathed, and in anticipation of a future price hike, OnePlus is making its fans aware that they may have to increase their OnePlus 3 prices in the UK to stay profitable.

OnePlus-3-7See also: OnePlus 3 teardown reveals a fairly repairable device2

This looming price hike isn’t guaranteed, but the company is advising any prospective buyers that it might be a good idea to purchase sooner rather than later. It should be noted that OnePlus seems very hesitant to increase the price on their most successful device. The only other time the company has ever had to do something similar was in early 2015, when the Euro dropped to the lowest it had been in nine years compared to the US dollar.

“Currency fluctuations are not your fault, nor our fault,” writes the company’s head of marketing in Europe David Sanmartin, “but if we sell at a loss, the simple fact is that there won’t be a OnePlus in the future.” This certainly seems to be the case. Regardless of manufacturer, profit margins on smartphones are notoriously thin, and the global cooldown of the smartphone market had a lot of phone makers nervous before a hint of Brexit was even in the air.

Currency fluctuations are not your fault, nor our fault.

What are your thoughts regarding the possibility that we might see a OnePlus 3 price jump in Europe in the near future? If you were on the fence about buying one, does this make you consider going ahead and making the move? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

OnePlus-3-3Next: OnePlus 3 review127

Verizon Wireless best prepaid plans in the US

T-Mobile has been pretty aggressive about bringing its users services they love like Binge On and rollover data, and they’ve also been pretty aggressive about pointing out how their competitors fail to do so. Not so long ago, Verizon execs bristled at the Uncarrier’s guerrilla tactics by taking a stance that, as industry leaders, they would stay the course with traditional plans rather than shift to these much beloved plans.

verizon-logoSee also: Verizon: no data roll-over, we don’t care if customers leave as a result119

Well, now it sounds like the United States’ largest carrier is changing their tune a bit. If this rumor is true, then Verizon will soon be joining the likes of T-Mobile and AT&T by adding carryover data to their plans. The same source reveals that “big red” could also be introducing throttled data on XL and XXL plans, as well as free roaming to Mexico and Canada on these same plans. Smaller plans can gain these services for additional fees.

verizon rollover leak image

This word comes to us via reddit, where users Verizonguy12345 and czfi identified an image posted on Verizon’s “testman” page, a site the company has a history of using to give promos and announcements a trial run before they are set live. This announcement is rumored to hit the media on Friday, but without official word, we still have to take this rumor with a grain of salt. If it turns out to be true, this could be a major boon for millions of subscribers.

What are your thoughts regarding these new features supposedly coming to Verizon? Give us your opinion in the comments below!

verizon logoNext: Best Verizon Android phones (June 2016)41

Nvidia Shield Android TV-11

A few weeks ago we got word that a big update would be heading to NVIDIA’s Shield Android TV. Today that update has arrived.

The biggest news with the version 3.2 update is that it will allow you to run the entire Plex Media Server directly on your Shield Android TV. In the past, Plex users have been able to stream their media libraries from either a local or remote computer running Plex Media Server. Now this functionality is built right into the set-top box, eliminating the need to use a separate computer to run the server.

NVIDIA Shield Android TV-2Don’t miss: NVIDIA Shield Android TV review30

Not interested in the Plex news? Don’t worry, there’s plenty more. Shield Android TV owners will also now be able to watch YouTube videos in 4K at 60fps, as well as stream Netflix in HDR and VUDU in 4K. The set-top box is also getting Dolby Atmos surround sound pass-through in VUDU, MX Player, SPMC, and Shield’s preinstalled Photos & Videos app.

There are a few new advanced features present in this update too. You can now access Shield folders from a network PC or Mac, use drag-and-drop file sharing, automatically turn off your TV when your Shield sleeps, and even mount a network attached storage device (NAS) to the Shield to access your complete media collection. And of course, there are a bevy of bug fixes and performance improvements in this update.

There’s plenty more that we didn’t cover here, so follow the source link below for all the details.

google dialer nexus 6p

If you know – or even think that you know – someone that may have been affected by the terrorist attack at Turkey’s Atatürk Airport in Istanbul yesterday, then the big four carriers in the U.S. are offering free calls to the country. It’s a shame that this kind of offer is necessary, but it’s good to know that in times of need carriers can put their differences aside and band together to help those that need it.

Here are the details:

  • Verizon is offering free calls and texts from mobiles and free calls from a fixed line until June 29 (inclusive). You’ll still incur “applicable taxes and surcharges” though.
  • AT&T is offering free calls and texts to Turkey from mobiles and free calls from landlines until June 30 (inclusive). It includes both GoPhone and Postpaid customers.
  • T-Mobile is offering free calls and texts until July 5 on its own network (pre-and post-paid) as well as for MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile, and WalMart Family Mobile customers.
  • Sprint is offering the same deal: free calls and texts until July 5 on its network and subsidiaries (Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile). The offer applies to both pre- and post-paid customers and roaming charges will be waived for those in Turkey calling the U.S..
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