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Google launches second Android N Preview complete with new Vulkan 3D rendering API

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Google launches second Android N Preview complete with new Vulkan 3D rendering API
After unveiling a first preview of Android N a few weeks ago, earlier today Google unveiled the second preview for its upcoming mobile OS version. Included in this second Android N Preview are a range of bug fixes, as well as a several new - and very interesting - features.

Right off the bat, we'd like to note that the second Android N preview fixes several known bugs discovered in the first version, such as problems with connecting to hidden Wi-Fi networks as well as issues with the Multiwindow system. Speaking of the new Multiwindow feature, the second Android N preview also brings an API change that allows developers to set maximum and minimum heights and widths for their apps.

The most interesting addition that Google's second Android N preview brings to the table is the new Vulkan 3D rendering API, one that allows 3D app developers to access the GPU directly. Google says that the Vulkan API will bring a notable boost in performance for graphics-heavy apps. The blog post that announced the new Android N preview mentions that, in some cases, performance in synthetic benchmarks can increase up to tenfold when using the Vulkan API compared to OpenGL ES, the standard solution.

Another notable addition are the new Launcher shortcuts. Using a new API, app developers can now expose quick action shortcuts to the launcher. Google says that launchers can be expected to show between 3 and 5 shortcuts for an app. As for shortcut examples, IM apps are expected to expose shortcuts for messaging most frequently used contacts while mapping apps are expected to expose "navigate to home" shortcuts.

The new Android N preview also boasts several new people emoji. As you can see for yourself in the image below, these are nothing to write home about. 



The new Android N preview is now available for Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices. The preview can also be downloaded on General Mobile 4G Android One devices. The update will also be made available for the Nexus player in the following days.

What do you guys think of the new Android N preview? Are you excited about the new Vulkan API?

source: Google

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