The new Android N preview is more stable and updates itself
Google surprised us all with an Android N developer preview two months before we landed at I/O, and updated it with new performance-enhancing features just a few weeks back. Now, as revealed during this morning’s I/O keynote, there’s a new update for you bold souls who crave bleeding edge software.
While Google refers to Preview 3 as an “incremental update” on its developer site, there’s still enough here to get excited about. Unlike the last two versions of the preview, Google says this third build is the first “beta-quality” candidate — in other words, you’ll run into fewer headaches if you try to use it as your daily driver on a Nexus 5X, 6P or other compatible devices. We haven’t played with the new N preview ourselves so we can’t confirm how much more stable it feels, but we’ll follow up with impressions as soon as we can.
Beyond that, this new update also brings with it a new software-updating scheme inspired by (surprisingly enough) Chromebooks. When an update is available, Android N can download the system image in the background and can automatically install it the next time you reboot your phone.
“There’s no ‘Android is upgrading’, no delays,” VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke told us. “It’s just a really nice, seamless way to do it.”
It’s a smart move; especially with respect to security updates like the ones Nexus devices get every month. When it comes to those more timely, crucial security patches, Android N lets you know the update will happen ahead of time and will then just install it upon reboot. Meanwhile, you’ll be alerted to “dessert” updates — the big ones with the delicious new names — in the new suggestions section in settings, where you can choose to install it now or apply it later.
If you’re interested in giving Preview 3 a shot on your phone, it’ll be available today.
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