Android N Developer Preview 4 is now available; finalizes APIs

Google has today released Android N Developer Preview 4, the second to last build before the public release in Q3.

Perhaps the most important change in DP4 is that the APIs have now been finalized and developers can now submit their Android N apps to the Google Play Store. They have the option of submitting to alpha, beta, and production channels.

Here's the official changelog:

General advisories

This Developer Preview release is for app developers and other early adopters and is available for daily use, development, or compatibility testing. Please be aware of these general notes about the release:

  • This release may have various stability issues on supported devices.
  • Some apps may not function as expected on the new platform version. This includes Google’s apps as well as other apps.
  • Developer Preview 4 is Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) approved on these devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C. Apps that depend on CTS approved builds should work normally on these devices (Android Pay for example).
  • Developer Preview 4 is available on all supported devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, General Mobile 4G (Android One), as well as Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653 models).

New in DP4

Android N final APIs

Developer Preview 4 includes the final APIs for the upcoming Android N platform. The new API level is 24.

Play publishing

You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.

Android Studio and tools updates

Along with Developer Preview 4 we’re providing the final API 24 SDK to be used with Android Studio 2.1.2 and higher. In addition, we’re releasing updated Developer Preview 4 system images for the emulator to help test your apps.

As new updates roll out for Android Studio, you should see minor improvements in the new project wizards and AVD manager as we add enhanced support for API 24. These are primarily cosmetic changes and should not stop you from getting your app ready for an update in the Play store.

Feature and API changes

  • In previous versions of Android, an app activates with all of its locale resources loaded before locale negotiation begins. Starting in Android N DP4, the system negotiates resource locales individually for each resource object before the app activates.
  • As announced at Developer Preview 3, we’ve deferred the Launcher Shortcuts feature to a later release of Android. In Developer Preview 4, we’ve removed the Launcher Shortcuts APIs.
  • We’ve changed the BLE Scanning behavior starting in DP4. We’ll prevent applications from starting and stopping scans more than 5 times in 30 seconds. For long running scans, we’ll convert them into opportunistic scans.
  • The Multi-Window android:minimalHeight and android:minimalWidth attributes have been renamed to android:minHeight and android:minWidth.

If you're already on the Developer Preview, you can grab build NPD56N by checking for updates. If you're not, you can sign up for the beta here or you can flash it yourself.

While the version of Android is still mysteriously named 'N', Google has promised to unwrap this year's treat in a few weeks.

Source: Android Developer Blog

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