After launching unexpectedly earlier this year, Google has pushed the first update out to the Android N Developer Preview. Within this update there are tons of changes, both under the hood and visible at the user level. Any changes Google makes to this preview are important as they could shape how the final build comes out, or even affect future versions. However in this latest preview, there’s been a handful of changes that actually matter to you, the end user. So let’s go over them.
The talk of the web since this latest preview was released is the new emoji. These new emoji support the latest Unicode 9 and also includes a handful of more human emoji including additional skin tones. So far reactions I’ve seen on social media to these changes have been mixed. Some love it, others hate it with a passion (myself included). Regardless, the change is here, and I doubt it’s going away time soon.
If you want to see how these emoji differ from the previous version, I highly recommend checking out this comparison from the guys (and gals) over at Android Police. They’ve got an awesome side-by-side look at the differences.
You Can Now Have Different Wallpapers On The Lockscreen And Homescreen
One thing stock Android has lacked for a very long time is the ability to set different wallpapers on your homescreen vs your lockscreen. Several OEMs added the feature as did many third-party root tweaks or custom ROMs, however now the feature is officially a part of stock Android, at least on the Google Now Launcher. Simply go to set a wallpaper and you’ll be greeted with the option of where you would like to apply it.
The Folders Look Different (And Really Ugly)
Folders have also gotten a redesign in this update and, well, yeah, they’re pretty ugly. This is one design I’m hoping doesn’t stick around to the final release as it just seems completely out of place with the rest of the OS. Icons get cut off, the overall design doesn’t look good, and it’s just a bad, bad choice. If you’re going to change folders Google, don’t do it like this.
Clear All Button In The Recent App Menu
Since its debut in Android Lollipop, many users have criticized the new app switcher in Android, saying it’s too easy to get cluttered. Google has apparently heard their cries and added a new “clear all” button to the recent app menu. This is something we’ve seen in just about every third party Android skin (except maybe Motorola’s, that’s the only one coming to mind). However now it’s actually a part of Android, which is great. You won’t see this button immediately however, rather you’ll need to scroll to the very top of your recents carousel to access it.
You Can Now Add A Calculator To The Quick Settings, Cause We Know You Definitely Wanted To
In Android N, Google added the ability to have multiple pages within the quick tiles panel and along with that added a handful of new tiles that were pretty useful. In Preview 2, they’ve added another toggle, but I can’t say it’s all that useful.
What Google has done is add a calculator toggle, and it does just what you though, it opens the calculator. I guess this could be useful, but it’s mere existence is pretty interesting to say the least. Google has already said that once Android N goes public developers will be able to create their own quick toggles for their apps, but Google specifically says that these toggles should not be used to open an app. I guess that doesn’t apply to the calculator. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯