Just like Android L and Android M before it, Android N is currently in a Developer Preview. These Developer Previews give developers and device manufacturers the opportunity to get familiar with the new APIs and changes in the next version of Android before it launches later in the year. It’s a fine idea, and one that seems to be working well for Google, with Android N marking the third time that they’ve gone down this route. Just yesterday, a new version of the Android N Preview was released to developers and those who like to live on the bleeding edge. There have been a number of bug fixes, changes and additions that Preview 2 brings to the table, but an interesting example of things to come has been thrown in by Google themselves.
When the final version of Android N becomes available, developers will finally have access to the Quick Settings pane that appears in the notification area to toggle on or off things like WiFi or Bluetooth. While Google might be opening up this Pandora’s box to developers, they do advise that it shouldn’t be used for a simple shortcut to an app, or in place of a launcher icon for example. This is somewhat ironic as this is exactly what Google have done with a new Calculator tile that can be added to your Quick Settings group once users edit the arrangement of tiles using the editor. All this new Calculator button does is well, launch the Calculator app.
Whether or not Google plans on adding in more functionality to this later down the line is unclear, but it seems a little strange to add an example of something they don’t advise to show off an upcoming feature. Regardless, those running Android N can now launch their Calculator even quicker than ever before, but there’s no way of telling whether or not this behavior will make it through to the final release. Calculator fans might want to enjoy this while they can, while fans of the Quick Settings feature will probably be hoping that Google has some more clever functionality than this up their sleeve for future versions of Android N.