Google has just released the fourth developer preview for Android N, and those who are part of the Android Beta Program will soon be getting their chance to test things out. While the files are already available for flashing if you’re aware of the process on how to install the software, those who aren’t comfortable with flashing the developer preview software will have to wait for Google to push out the download over-the-air for Android Beta Program members, and as of now it doesn’t seem like the update is live for a majority of users just yet. Google has also posted the official changelog if you’re curious to know what’s new in this latest release.
Of note, one of the changes that users may encounter lies with the BLE scans. Google states that with Dev Preview 4, applications will no longer be able to start and stop scans more than five times in a thirty second period. Following up on that, if a scan is supposed to run for a longer period of time (long running scans), Google says that these scans will be converted into an opportunistic scan. Also new is that the Launcher Shortcuts API has been removed from this version of the preview, as the Launcher Shortcuts feature isn’t being introduced until later. The removal of the API really only applies to developers as end users won’t be working with the API. Indirectly, however, it does mean that end users won’t be getting Launcher Shortcuts in this release, which some may have been hoping for. Google has also renamed the multi-window attributes.
If you’ve already flashed or are going to be flashing the preview or waiting for it to hit your device before you install it, there are a number of things that may be broken or working improperly that you may want to look out for. There are likely to be some stability issues like kernel panics and crashes. Users may also encounter problems with the launcher when they try to open up the app tray where all of their apps are located. More specifically, if users open the all apps tray and then cycle the screen on and off, the app tray may become unresponsive. This might be annoying for users, but Google does note it could be possible to resolve the issue simply by going back to the home screen and re-entering the all apps tray. The setup wizard may also crash on the “not now” and “setup email” screens, and there is potential for apps to be unstable if they move them from internal storage to the adoptable storage option. There are also potential instabilities with media, Accessibility, Screen Zoom and multiple APKs in Google Play, Vulkan support and multiple APKs in Google Play, and Android for Work.