Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C running Android N Developer Preview

Great new feature revealed as Android N makes surprise appearance

The Android community got a surprise today as Google released Android N Developer Preview. Ahead of the full release in the third quarter of 2016, the preview edition provides an opportunity to test an early build of Android N.

The release is an early edition of the next version of Android, although it is only intended for use by developers. There is nothing to prevent anyone who is feeling brave from trying it out, although doing so on a device that is relied upon for daily use would most likely prove not to be a wise decision.

Of the new features that are on show in the Android N Developer Preview release, by far the most interesting is multi-window support.

On the face of it multi-window support might not seem like anything particularly noteworthy. After all, manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and ASUS have already developed custom builds of Android which have offered the feature.

However, the inclusion of multi-window support in the Android N Developer Preview release is important as far as the future of Android is concerned. Google is only too aware of the need to ensure Android becomes better suited to productivity tasks and multi-window support is a major step towards this goal.

Early preview editions of Android Marshmallow also included multi-window support, but the feature did not make it to the final consumer release.