The introduction of Multi Window on Samsung devices brought a great twist to multitasking on smartphones, with the feature allowing users to take advantage of the large displays on their devices by running more than one app at the same time. We saw Multi Window make its way to Apple’s iOS with the iPad Pro last year, and in 2016, Google is baking it into stock Android. That’s right, Multi Window will soon be an integral part of Android with Android N.
In fact, Multi Window is not the only feature in Android N that we have seen on Samsung smartphones and tablets. Android N will also bring native support for styluses, though this is one feature that Google is doing better as true stylus support is only found on Samsung’s Note lineup and not on all of its phones and tablets. Google is also taking multitasking a step further, as Android N will let users switch instantly between two apps by simply double tapping the recent apps button (or the Overview button as Google calls it).
Seeing features Samsung put on its phones first making their way to stock Android isn’t new. Google has often taken features from third-party Android skins, and rightly so – it’s always better to have functionality built into the core operating system so that consumers don’t have to make their smartphone choices based on what feature is offered by which manufacturer. Alas, Google continues to fall behind in terms of thinking up such features on its own, which is why modified versions of Android continue to be extremely important.
With Android N, even Samsung will be able to harness a few features of Android N for its own phones and tablets, particularly Night Mode. Night Mode on Android puts a dark theme across the interface, and such an option would be greatly suited to the AMOLED displays the Korean giant employs on its devices. Themes already offer something similar, and it’s possible Samsung won’t be offering Night Mode on the TouchWiz UX.
Then there’s the improved Doze mode – on the next version of Android users will be able to save battery by setting Doze mode to fire up each time the screen is turned off. Right now, Doze only kicks in if a device has been lying unused and unmoved for an extended period of time. Samsung devices have been getting increasingly better at battery endurance, and Android N should allow us to make our Galaxy’s last even longer.
Android N is an interesting release. Its feature list is quite long, and it’s a much bigger upgrade than Marshmallow. Even though the wait for the Android N update will be rather excruciating given how it’s so much more feature-packed than Android 6.0, owners of Galaxy smartphone and tablets can already take advantage of some of the major features.