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Google engineers are quietly beavering away on Android N, the latest version of its all-conquering mobile platform.
Last month, the company introduced the first preview for developers, giving us a peek at a host of upcoming features. Now, Google has released its second developer preview, giving us a look at a few more hitherto unannounced features.
First of all, the new preview delivers support for the Vulkan graphics API, which offers a massive boost over the platform’s current APIs. Vulkan also harnesses multiple cores for faster performance.
The second big addition is the inclusion of “launcher shortcuts”, which allows users to post a shortcut of an app’s functions/sections to their homescreen.
“Android N allows apps to define action-specific shortcuts which can be displayed in the launcher. These launcher shortcuts let your users quickly start common or recommended tasks within your app,” read a description on Google’s developer website.
Examples given by Google include linking to a particular location in a mapping app, loading the last save-point in a videogame and sending messages to a certain friend in an IM app.
Emojis are also seeing some love, as the second preview delivers updated people emojis as well as a few new ones, such as face-palms, bacon and a selfie emoji.
These new features join several that were shown off in the first preview, including multi-window support, a data saver function and direct replying to notifications.