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Android N Developer Preview 4 Now Available!

android n developer preview

Android N Developer Preview 4 just got posted and is available for the flashing! As of right now, it looks like all supported devices are getting Android build NPD56N.

Again, the supported devices include the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9 (WiFi and LTE), Nexus Player, Pixel C, and the General Mobile 4G (Android One) device.

We’re still looking through the changes and will update this post. (Updated below)

For now, grab the image files here! The OTA zip files are here.

For instructions on how to flash factory images, hit up these instructions. For instructions on flashing OTA zip files, hit up these.


UPDATE: Now that we have had a chance to read through the material, here is what we know about DP4.

Google says that Developer Preview 4 includes the final APIs, which is API level 24. That means apps can now be published with support for API level 24 on Google Play in alpha, beta, and production release channels. Google is also providing the final API to Android Studio 2.1.2 and higher, while also pushing system images to the emulator.

Here are some of the new feature changes:

  • In previous versions of Android, an app activates with all of its locale resources loaded before locale negotiation begins. Starting in Android N DP4, the system negotiates resource locales individually for each resource object before the app activates.
  • As announced at Developer Preview 3, we’ve deferred the Launcher Shortcuts feature to a later release of Android. In Developer Preview 4, we’ve removed the Launcher Shortcuts APIs.
  • We’ve changed the BLE Scanning behavior starting in DP4. We’ll prevent applications from starting and stopping scans more than 5 times in 30 seconds. For long running scans, we’ll convert them into opportunistic scans.
  • The Multi-Window android:minimalHeight and android:minimalWidth attributes have been renamed to android:minHeight and android:minWidth.

Want to know what might be broken? Here you go:

Stability

-Users may encounter system instability (such as kernel panics and crashes).

Launcher

-The default launcher’s All Apps tray may become unresponsive after cycling the screen off and on. Returning to the homescreen and relaunching the All Apps tray may resolve this issue.

Setup Wizard

-Crash on selecting “Not now” in “Set up email” screen.

Media

-Media playback may be unreliable on Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, including issues playing HD video.
-Occasional freeze when running the YouTube app with other apps in multi-window mode on Pixel C devices. In some cases hard reboot is required.
-Apps may have issues playing some Widevine DRM-protected content on Nexus 9 devices.
-Issues handling VP8 video on Nexus 9 devices.

External storage

-Apps may become unstable when the user moves them from internal storage to adoptable external storage (this can include SD card or devices attached over USB).

Screen zoom and multiple APKs in Google Play

-On devices running Android N, Google Play services 9.0.83 incorrectly reports the current screen density rather than the stable screen density. When screen zoom is enabled on these devices, this can cause Google Play to select a version of a multi-APK app that’s designed for smaller screens. This issue is fixed in the next version of Google Play services and will be included in a later Developer Preview release.

Vulkan support and multiple APKs in Google Play

-On devices running Android N, Google Play services 9.0.83 currently reports Vulkan support but not Vulkan version. This can cause Google Play to select a version of a multi-APK app that’s designed for lower Vulkan support on devices with higher version support. Currently, the Google Play Store does not accept uploads of apps which use Vulkan version targeting. This support will be added to the Google Play Store in the future and fixed in the next version of Google Play services (to be included in a later Developer Preview release). Any N devices using the version of Google Play services 9.0.83 will continue to receive versions of apps targeting basic Vulkan support.

Accessibility

-Switch access doesn’t allow user to navigate web pages in Chrome.
-Accessibility issues for talkback users with notification dismissal, and wifi selection screen.

Android for Work

-Currently, CA certificates provisioned through DevicePolicyManager are not available to profiles other than the primary user/profile due to a preload issue. For example, this could prevent a user from connecting to a trusted server when in a Work profile. This issue will be resolved in the next Developer Preview.

If you are a part of the Android Beta Program, it doesn’t look like the update is live yet for me, but feel free to check in Settings>About phone>System updates.

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