Android N Preview adds launcher shortcuts and new emoji

Google inches toward a final release by adding new features to its upcoming OS.

A month has passed since Google released its Android N developer preview, and today the company rolled out an update to the in-progress OS. In addition to split-screen support, quick message replies and a battery-saving tool, the preview version gained a handful of new features with this new release. Among the tools are launcher shortcuts that allow you to navigate to a specific area of an app. For example, a shortcut that would allow you to quickly skip to the next episode of a TV show in a streaming app or navigate home in Maps with a tap.

The updated developer preview also includes support for Unicode 9 emoji. Google says the goal here is to nix the generic-looking images for more human-like graphics, including variations in skin tone. This version also includes support for Vulkan, a 3D rendering API that aims to boost GPU and CPU performance. As you might expect, the update also includes an updated API for things like multi-window and bundled notifications as well has the usual collection of unnamed bug fixes. If you're not feeling adventurous enough to give the preview version of Android N a go, consult our hands-on to read up on the software.