Hands on with the Android N Developer Preview

Naturally, most had assumed that Google would announce Android N at the firm's annual developer conference, Google I/O. After all, developer conferences are when these firms typically announce what's next for their respective platforms.

Instead, Google decided to quietly release the Android N Developer Preview last week. The next version of Android contains its fair share of new features and redesigned elements, including split-screen multitasking, a redesigned Settings app, and redesigned notifications.

Google has stated that there will be five monthly previews, spanning from March until July, promising the final release in the third quarter. In fact, the second and third iterations are going to be incremental fixes for the Preview, so it's safe to say that Google will most likely still have some tricks up their sleeve at Google I/O.

In the following video, I go hands-on with Android N on the Nexus 5X (yes, split-screen multitasking even works on phones). I'll show what's new and even point out some obvious bugs in this early Preview.

The Android N Developer Preview is only supported by Nexus 5X, 6, 6P, 9, Player, and Pixel C. It's a very early beta and Google has been very clear about the fact that this is for developers only, so we don't recommend installing it.

If you must install it and you choose to go the OTA route that Google has provided, we encourage you to unlock the bootloader first, as many have broken their phones through this process and have been unable to flash a recovery image without an unlocked bootloader. For instructions on how to unlock the bootloader and flash a recovery image, here's our guide.

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