Anyone that has had to flash a factory image or pull APK’s and such from their smartphone, knows how slow the ADB speeds can be at times. Fortunately, that appears to be getting better with Android N. In the second developer preview, ADB is said to have gotten about three times as fast as it once was. Over on Google+, Elliott Hughes (A Googler) put together a nice changelog detailing what’s new in Android N from the ADB and Shell standpoint. Data transfer is said to be much faster on “push, pull and sync operations”. Additionally, progress feedback has gotten better and command line arguments are interpreted more like scp. Shell Commands also got some attention in Android N. For one, shell commands can now exceed 1024 characters in length. Other changes here include better Windows support, more stability for automated testing as well as helpful diagnostics for adb/fastboot Linux USB permissions problems.
For many that may not be tinkerers, this doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, unless you flash a factory image or sideload an OTA to your Nexus device. For tinkerers, this is a huge deal. Meaning that you’ll be able to do things much quicker, and who doesn’t like accomplishing tasks even faster than before? When it comes to speed, Hughes states that we should see speeds almost three times faster. Citing that the AOSP Nexus 9 full /system sync went from 60 seconds before to just 20 seconds now in the latest Android N Developer Preview. Now, as always, that is going to depend on what operations you are completing as well as the device and such.
If you want to take advantage of these faster speeds, you’ll need to update your Android SDK so that you are using the Android N Preview in the SDK. That way you get all of the new goodies that are part of Android N. We are currently on the second of a planned six developer previews for Android N, with the final stable release coming out sometime in the fall (it’s looking like September right about now). There’s ton’s of great features already in Android N and plenty more coming.