Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.
When Google launched its Android N Beta Program last month, it promised new builds every few weeks, so say hello to Android N Preview 2. While there aren’t huge new features the likes of split-screen mode, there are some updates users will appreciate.
For one, Google is finally adding support for multi-racial emoji, well after Apple, WhatsApp and Microsoft did.
On the plus side, Gogle is also leapfrogging Apple by going straight to Unicode 9, which includes new emoji like one for selfies, face palms, and bacon. Revolutionary, really.
In general, Google says its moving away from a generic look to more human-looking design.
Emoji aside, users can now add shortcuts to the launcher to perform actions more quickly. For example, you could set up launcher shortcuts for things like sending a message to a specifc friend, navigating straight home or playing the next episode from that show you’re binge-watching.
On the more technical front, the update also includes the Vulkan 3D rendering API, which should improve performance on a single core “as much as 10 times” over the old OpenGL ES. APIs have also been updated, and Google says its fixed many of the bugs that caused apps in the earlier preview to crash.
As previously, the update will be made available to Nexus devices and the Pixel C over the air. If you haven’t already enrolled for the Android Beta Program, you can do so here.
It sounds like this update will be a bit more stable than the previous build, but as always, exercise caution when installing pre-release software. Don’t worry, we’ll be taking the risk for you as soon as it hits our own devices, so stay tuned for any new details.
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