Google just surprises us today by taking the wraps off of the developer preview for “Android N,” the next version of Android, which comes with a different features a split-screen mode and multiple windows support.
Multi-Window Lets You Run Multiple Apps Side-by-Side
The most interesting feature is multi-window support, which lets you run multiple apps side-by-side in the same view. With Android N, users will be able to launch and use multiple apps right next to each other. Google hasn’t specified exactly how this will work just yet, but the interface looks much like Microsoft’s split-screen feature.
Picture-in-Picture Keeps Video Up and Playing When You Leave an App
Google also added a new feature called “picture-in-picture” mode. If you’ve ever used YouTube’s multitasking video player on your phone or tablet, this will sound familiar. Android N gives developers the option to put activities like videos in an overlay that runs on top of the rest of Android. That means you can watching a movie and check your email, at the same time without pausing your movie.
Google specifically says this is useful for TV devices, meaning it’s likely meant for Android TV more than anything. However, it’s unclear if Google will allow this to be used on phones and tablets as well.
You Can Reply to Any Notification Directly From the Pull-Down Shade
The newest features of Android N is the notification bar, this time in a way that’s super useful. This most welcome improvement allows users to reply to notifications from virtually any app without having to close the shade first, or open an app to view them.
Android N will give developers a new option for dealing with a flood of notifications from a particularly chatty app Now, when you receive multiple alerts from the same app, they can be grouped together into an expandable “bundle.”
The bundle will look just like one single notification in the shade. To dismiss them all, you can swipe the entire bundle away with one gesture. Alternatively, you can use a two-finger gesture or tap an Expand button to open the bundle and deal with each notification particularly.
These aren’t the only new features, but they’re the biggest ones. Google has also mentioned improvements to Doze mode, a new Quick Settings UI, and more.