Google finally released Android N preview 4 build NPD56N, DP4 support emulator x86 & ARM (32bit / 64bit) and Google Play services 8.4. This beta is stable enough to use on daily use, development or compatibility testing but beware you can also face compatibility and crushing issues.
This Android N preview 4 released with New and final API’s and official SDK, which means now developers can start testing their app against the official Android N API’s and publish their apps to devices running Android N Preview 4.
- This release may have various stability issues on supported devices.
- Some apps may not function as expected on the new platform version. This includes Google’s apps as well as other apps.
- Developer Preview 4 is Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) approved on these devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C. Apps that depend on CTS approved builds should work normally on these devices (Android Pay for example).
- Developer Preview 4 is available on all supported devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, General Mobile 4G (Android One), as well as Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653 models)
New Features in Android Developer Preview 4 June Release
- Play publishing
Now developer can publish their apps that use API level 24 to Google Play Store, in beta, alpha and production channels.
- Android Studio and tools updates
Along with Developer Preview 4 we’re providing the final API 24 SDK to be used with Android Studio 2.1.2 and higher. They also released Developer Preview 4 system images for the emulator to help test your apps.
- Feature and API changes
- As announced at Developer Preview 3, we’ve deferred the Launcher Shortcuts feature to a later release of Android. In Developer Preview 4, we’ve removed the Launcher Shortcuts APIs.
- The Multi-Window android:minimalHeight and android:minimalWidth attributes have been renamed to android:minHeight and android:minWidth.
- In previous versions of Android, an app activates with all of its locale resources loaded before locale negotiation begins. Starting in Android N DP4, the system negotiates resource locales individually for each resource object before the app activates.
- We’ve changed the BLE Scanning behavior starting in DP4. We’ll prevent applications from starting and stopping scans more than 5 times in 30 seconds. For long running scans, we’ll convert them into opportunistic scans.
Be aware before flashing or updating your device about these issues
User may face the system instability like crashed and kernel panics.
after cycling the screen off and on the default launcher of Android N may become unresponsive. You can resolve this issue by returning to home screen or re-launching the all apps tray.
- Setup Wizard
Crash on selecting “Not now” in “Set up email” screen.
- Apps may have issues playing some Widevine DRM-protected content on Nexus 9 devices.
- Media playback may be unreliable on Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, including issues playing HD video.
- Occasional freeze when running the YouTube app with other apps in multi-window mode on Pixel C devices. In some cases hard reboot is required.
- Issues handling VP8 video on Nexus 9 devices.
- External Storage
After moving apps to SD card or devices attached over USB, app may become unstable.
- Screen zoom and multiple APKs in Google Play
On devices running Android N, Google Play services 9.0.83 incorrectly reports the current screen density rather than the stable screen density. When screen zoom is enabled on these devices, this can cause Google Play to select a version of a multi-APK app that’s designed for smaller screens. This issue is fixed in the next version of Google Play services and will be included in a later Developer Preview release.
- Vulkan support and multiple APKs in Google Play
On devices running Android N, Google Play services 9.0.83 currently reports Vulkan support but not Vulkan version. This can cause Google Play to select a version of a multi-APK app that’s designed for lower Vulkan support on devices with higher version support. Currently, the Google Play Store does not accept uploads of apps which use Vulkan version targeting. This support will be added to the Google Play Store in the future and fixed in the next version of Google Play services (to be included in a later Developer Preview release). Any N devices using the version of Google Play services 9.0.83 will continue to receive versions of apps targeting basic Vulkan support.
- Accessibility issues for talk-back users with notification dismissal, and WiFi selection screen
- Switch access doesn’t allow user to navigate web pages in Chrome
- Android for Work
- After reboot with work mode off, solving work challenge does not switch on work mode.
- If DISALLOW_CONFIG_VPN is set before calling setAlwaysOnVpnPackage(), then setting always on VPN does not work. That is, after rebooting the device with the DISALLOW_CONFIG_VPN restriction set, VPN is not auto started.
- Users receiving a video call in Hangouts have to unlock work challenge first.
Currently, CA certificates provisioned through DevicePolicyManager are not available to profiles other than the primary user/profile due to a preload issue.
- For example, this could prevent a user from connecting to a trusted server when in a Work profile. This issue will be resolved in the next Developer Preview.
- Accessing Settings > Security > Device Security crash observed when separating primary and work challenge.
- Android Auto
The version of Google Maps included in Developer Preview 4 (9.30) crashes when used with Android Auto. This issue will be fixed in the next update to Google Maps (9.31), expected in the coming weeks.
How to Install Android N Preview 4
You can receive and install this and upcoming Android updates directly on your compatible Android device. But first you must enroll and join the Android Beta program. After enrolling to this program you will get OTA over-the-air notification related to any Android updates. If you can’t wait for OTA notification, then you can flash updates manually by downloading Android update files given below.
Download Android N Preview 4 June Update
- Nexus 5X (bullhead)
- Nexus 6 (shamu)
- Nexus 6P (angler)
- Nexus 9 (volantis)
- Nexus 9G (volantisg)
- Nexus Player (fugu)
- Pixel C (ryn)
- General Mobile 4G (Android One) (seed)
- Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653)
Notes on publishing apps that target API 24
- Once you publish an app with targetSdkVersion set to 23 or higher, you can’t later publish a version of the app with a higher versionCode that targets 22 or lower. This restriction applies in alpha and beta channels as well as production channel.
- If your app’s current targetSdkVersion is 22 or lower and you want to target API 24, you’ll need to support behaviors introduced with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), such as run-time permissions, in addition to Android N behaviors.