18 April 2016
Google has just released a new developer preview of this year’s big Android update, which is currently dubbed Android N. It is reported complete with several new features.
Two noticeable changes are launcher shortcuts, which make it easier to jump to specific section or feature within an app, and an overhauled design for emoji.
The emoji clearly depict humans with simple shapes and colors that are consistent with Google’s Material Design language. The latest Android N preview includes more human-looking emoji.
As Android N’s new emoji are also compatible with Unicode 9, the characters with people now support the skin tone variations feature.
This feature lets users customize human emoji to better reflect themselves by allowing them choose from several skin tone colours ranging from light to dark.
The new launcher shortcuts feature, meanwhile, lets users assign a specific action for an app to Android’s launcher tool.
This would allow you set up a shortcut for Maps that would launch to automatically show directions home from your current location.
Other shortcut examples include sending a message to your best friend, or a media app that would start playing the next episode of a TV show.
You can try these features out now by downloading the latest Android N Developer Preview, or you can wait for Google to release the final version.