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Google Talks Up Android N Performance and Security

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May 18, 2016, 1:04 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated May 18, 2016, 1:12 PM

Google today provided an update to Android N at its I/O developer conference. The next-generation mobile operating system includes support for Vulkan to improve graphics performance for games, but it also improves the Android runtime to speed up daily use. For example, apps should install 75% faster while requiring 50% less code. On the security front, N introduces file-based encryption to better isolate and protect individual users. It also hardened the media framework to prevent attacks. Last, Android N offers seamless security updates that happen automatically in the background with no user action required. As for productivity, Google make improvements to the multitasking function. Moving forward, Android N will show only the most recent seven apps. Moreover, Android N moves the "clear all" tool to the top of the screen to prevent accidental closings. Android N uses two multi-window tools, one called multi-screen (two windows used side-by-side) and picture-in-picture to let video play while users perform other tasks. Google imagines the PIP feature will be used most on Android TV. Android N overhauls notifications, providing direct control over silencing certain types of notifications. The new platform adds Unicode 9.0 for an expanded set of emoji, including skin-tone variations. Last, Android N bakes in more direct support for virtual reality. Google is asking the public to help name Android N, and has set up a web site to take suggestions. Android N is available in beta form beginning today and should reach final release status later this summer.

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