The next big update to the Android N Developer Preview is now here, version 2 has just been released by Google today. Usually, people who are already using the Android N Developer Preview will want the update over-the-air (OTA), but it seems that only the factory images have been released for now. So what can we expect from the new version?
First up, Developer Preview 2 brings the Vulkan 3D rendering API to Android’s core OS. This is the same Vulkan API that was incorporated by Samsung, with the help of NVIDIA, on their flagship devices. Google says Vulkan will lead to “significant” performance improvements for graphic-intensive and gaming apps.
Secondly, we’re getting something called “launcher shortcuts,” which will let apps have as much as three shortcuts in Android’s launcher. These shortcuts lead to specific actions inside that app, like a shortcut for SMS-ing a loved one, or opening a specific file with an app.
Lastly, we’re getting new emoji (yay!). Google is making emoji look more human to lower the confusion that always seems to accompany communicating with emoji. If you want to join the beta program, you can visit the beta link and opt in your compatible Nexus device. The preview is available for the Nexus 6P, 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and the Pixel C. If you want to just go ahead and flash the factory images, check the download link below.