Google is releasing the Android N Developer Preview 2, rolling it out to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Pixel C and Android One.

Of course, what everyone wants to know is what it'll bring to the table, so without further ado, here's a quick rundown of the new features:


Vulkan is the new API that gives the developers more control over the GPU, providing a huge boost in performance for resource-demanding apps.

Launcher Shortcuts

Apps can now define shortcuts, allowing users to expose them in the launcher. These shortcuts in question have an "Intent into specific points" within an app. Google explains that it's like sending a message to someone, navigating home in a mapping app or playing the next episode in line of a show in a media app.

Emoji Unicode 9 Support

With the support for Emoji Unicode 9, the set of usable emoji now includes humanlike icons instead of just the weird but fun yellow heads with quirky expressions.

API Changes And Bug Fixes Across The Board

Google also pitched in a couple of API changes and bug fixes, refining features such as the multi-window support and notifications, to name a few. Also, the company lists down all the known problems on a dedicated page, encouraging users to report via the public issue tracker.

Other Unmentioned Features

Editor-in-chief of Droid Life Kellen Barranger found out that there's more than meets the eye in the Android N Developer Preview 2, including new folder icons, a Calculator shortcut in the toggle menu, a slew of emoji and improvements here and there for the aforementioned yellow emoji.

On an interesting note, this comes hot on the heels of the first Android N Developer Preview released about a month ago, bearing the build number NPC91K.

As for availability, the Android N Developer Preview 2 is up and can be downloaded from Google's developer website or through an over-the-air update for people who are part of the Android Beta Program.

Feel free to drop by our comments section below and tell us what you think of the second Android N Preview.

Photo: Filip Maljković | Flickr

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