Samsung lists S Pen and Edge features to be 'deprecated in N', possibly referring to future Android N version
Samsung inadvertently revealed the name of its upcoming Galaxy S7 sidekick, called Galaxy S7 Edge, listing it as a compatible device in the new edge screen modes that are coming with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to its phones with flexible displays.
The company made these entries on its website, in the developer section that deals with the Look SDK - a tool which helps devs take advantage of Samsung's unique input options that are the S Pen and the side-sloping edge displays on some of its phone lines.
Right there at the top of the webpage, Samsung begins with "Look offers specialized widgets and service components for extended functions of the Samsung Android devices," and continues with listing the Edge and Note line functions in question:
So far, so good - this is stuff that is already present on the Edge and Note lines, or coming with the Marshmallow update very soon. What catches the attention, however, is the add-on "will be deprecated in N" after some of the functions. Now, what would that "N" be, and what does "deprecated" mean in this context? Well, we can only guess that the word is used in its literal sense of "discouragement of use of some feature, design or practice, typically because it has been superseded." Thanks, dictionary.
That's all fine and dandy, so some of today's functions of the S Pen stylus and edge displays will give way to something else, but how about that "N"? Again, Samsung's own entry further down the page gives us a hint. When talking about compatibility of the Edge Single Plus viewing mode, it codes it as "Edge Single Plus mode is supported in Galaxy S6 Edge M OS, and Galaxy S6 Edge+ M OS." Yesterday this line continued with "and Galaxy S7 Edge M OS," but today all S7 Edge references have been deleted already. The "M" here seems to stand for Android Marshmallow, as that's the update that will bring the Edge Single Plus and other new modes to Samsung's handsets in the Edge and Note lines.
Thus, it may be logical to deduce that "will be deprecated in N" might mean that these features will no longer be viable in Android N, or whatever Google names its next Android 7.0 update. Now, whether this means that the next version of Android will have native support for them, or they will simply be superseded by something else by Samsung, remains to be seen, yet the story here is that this may be the first official reference to the upcoming Android N. Google's Sundar Pichai already tweeted that the I/O developer conference will take place a bit earlier than usual this year, on May 18-20, and it will be in a different place than usual, so we can rightfully expect some grand announcement regarding Android then, what do you think?