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As Google’s next annual developer conference is fast approaching – May 18th – anticipations and speculations have been rife regarding the next Android version.

Dubbed Android N, the next version of this Google-owned mobile OS has its developer preview finally officially released by Google. Just like in the releases of previews of previous versions such as Lollipop and Marshmallow, Google aims at acquiring enough feedback before officially rolling out the major software update to the general public. However, this will be Google’s earliest release ever. As the norm, Google gives priority to its own devices when it comes to the availability of the developer preview.

The first developer preview of Android N is available for download at The released Android N preview is available for Pixel C, Nexus 9, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and as well as General Mobile 4G. Rolling out a newer version implies improving the existing version in various aspects such as performance, appearance and features as well. But what really does Android N developer preview carry?

Multi-window mode

For quite some time, word has been doing round that Google has been working on a feature that will enable its OS’ users perform different tasks on different apps but on the same screen. It seems that the company is planning to include something of the sort in Android N. With this preview, developers will be required to enable split-screen multitasking support in their respective apps to facilitate compatibility.

The newly proposed multi-window mode supports picture-in-picture video view. This mode works just like YouTube for Android app; videos keep playing in a mini window when other titles are accessed. It is still not clear whether this mode will be supported on all devices (mobile phones and tablets included) or Android TV gadgets only.

Redesigning the notification panel

In this first developer preview of Android N, it appears like some tweaks have been done on the notifications panel. Upon pulling down the notification shade, some power controls and your notifications below are quickly accessed. On the right, there is also an expandable drop-down button that relays the whole quick settings page. Notifications appear in a sheet of white design, separated with a gray line and can also be shoved together from one app. Direct reply to notifications will also be enhanced.

Doze mode gets souped-up

Doze mode was introduced on Marshmallow and aimed at saving the battery of an Android device when it is not engaged. In Android N, Doze mode has further been enhanced to conserve more power such that the phone’s power consumption is optimized once the screen turns off.

From the released preview of Android N, it seems that there are still many more concealed features. These are just but the basics.