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Google preps Android N for public release with fourth preview release

Google preps Android N for public release with fourth preview release

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Sam Byford

Google has released a fourth developer preview for Android N, which is all about firming things up for a public release sometime later this summer. The update might not sound all that exciting for now: what it does is finalize the APIs that developers use to build apps. That will allow developers to finish updating their apps for N, without risk of Google making changes again, and submit them to the Play Store so that they'll be ready for launch. It's not thrilling for the time being, but it's a sure sign that the launch is getting closer.

In addition to finalizing the APIs for N, Google is also removing one of the more exciting features that appeared in earlier versions: support for pressure-sensitive screens. What Google called "Launcher Shortcuts" were going to be its answer to 3D Touch, and they appeared to be more-or-less ready and working as of N's second preview release. But somewhere between April and May, Google's plans changed, and it decided to hold off support until a later version of Android. Now that delay is final, with Google completely removing the Launcher Shortcut APIs.

Google does appear to have added in at least one fun tweak for users:

So maybe it won't be called Nutella after all.

Correction June 15th, 3:36PM ET: This update is Android N's fourth developer preview but only its second beta. This article initially stated that it was N's fourth beta; in fact, the first two releases were alpha releases.