Developers get early look at new Android software
Google tallies the number of Android devices running different versions of its mobile operating system by collecting data over a seven-day period gathered from its Google Play Store app. That means Google's data is a reflection of devices that have checked into Google's servers.
"By releasing the first preview and asking for your feedback now (in March!), we'll be able to act on that feedback while still being able to hand off the final N release to device makers this summer, so they can get their hands on the latest version of Android earlier than ever", he writes in a post on Medium.
But why the two month head start this time around, especially since Android Marshmallow is on just over 2% of total Android devices? Google says this API was first created for Android Wear smartwatches, but is now compatible with phones and tablets. This will allow users to reply directly to a notification from within the notification without waiting for the app to open. Although most of the Nexus devices and Android One smartphones now run on the Marshmallow version, its out of the box experience on new devices like the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 is yet to hit the market.
Google continues to target efficiency.
Wondering how well Android Marshmallow doing five months after its initial rollout? Apps that already use JobScheduler to manage background tasks are safe, but Google has updated JobScheduler so developers who've not already taken advantage can catch up easily. Lifecycle changes for multi-window are similar to switching from landscape to portrait mode: your activity can handle the configuration change itself, or it can allow the system to stop the activity and recreate it with the new dimensions.
Tucked away in the Android Beta page, Google notes that "if you manually flashed Android N on your device by downloading the image from developer.android.com you won't receive OTA updates automatically".
Android 4.0.x or Ice Cream Sandwich, in Google's latest numbers, registered a share of 2.3 percent, down 0.2 percent from February.
Speaking of early, "By releasing a "work in progress" build earlier in development, we have more time to incorporate developer feedback", explained Google VP of Engineering Dave Burke.
Google will likely announce more details at its I/O conference in May.