(Pocket-lint) - Google has updated the developer preview of Android N.
The update, called Developer Preview 2, brought a number of cool features, including the new Vulkan 3D rendering API, which should help developers give their heavy apps a significant boost in performance. It also introduced launcher shortcuts that allow apps to create shortcuts in Android's launcher. These shortcuts lead to specific actions inside the app (such as playing the next episode of a TV show in a media app).
But the coolest new feature of the update is Emoji Unicode 9 support: "We are introducing a new emoji design for people emoji that moves away from our generic look in favour of a more human-looking design. If you’re a keyboard or messaging app developer, you should start incorporating these emoji into your apps. The update also introduces support for skin tone variations and Unicode 9 glyphs," Google explained.
Some of the new glyphs include the bacon, selfie, and face palm. Factory images of Developer Preview 2 can now be downloaded and manually installed on your device (Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or Pixel C). However, if you're part of the now-public Android Beta Program, simply to the settings menu and download the over-the-air update when it becomes available today.
Android N is the upcoming, next version of Android (Android 7.0). Google names its Android versions after sweet treats. That's run on for years, recently taking in Kit Kat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow. So what will be the name of Android 7.0? All we know is that it is currently going by the codename N and should be unveiled at Google I/O in May 2016. We usually get our first glimpse of the next version of Android at this conference.
Android N won't land for consumers until later in the year, however, around October. This is usually timed with the release of a new Nexus handset. A developer preview of Android N, which is a "work in progress" build, has already been released to developers prior to a consumer rollout of the final software. Google offers a preview to collect and incorporate feedback.
Go here to learn more about how to get the preview now. The beta program is the easiest way to get the latest Android N preview update.