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This Week's Chitter Chatter: What is coming with Android N?
The latest version of Google's dominant mobile operating system, Android, is nearly ready for release.
Announced at Google IO, the launch date was only set at 'later in the summer'. However, with developer versions already available, the likely features for the new OS are already out in the open.
Here are a few changes to expect in the new version, which may or may not be called Android 'Nutella'.
The question that everyone wants to know is whether their phone will get the update?
Some manufacturers have been slow or have never brought the latest Android updates to their phones. Naturally, Nexus phones will get the update first, but Motorola, Samsung and HTC are likely to bring it also to their flagship phones like the Galaxy S7 or HTC 10.
Rumoured features include notifications that can be replied to in-line, so there is no need to break away from an app that is already in use. Also, usefully, split-screen apps are going to be possible, which will be great for Android tablet users, although maybe less useful for smaller screen phones.
There are hints of a re-design for the app buttons which now have opaque icons and the home button is a colourful design.
A 'night mode' is said to be coming to the OS, which will be a similar feature to Apple's 'Night Shift' - this allows the phone to automatically alter the colour balance of the screen depending on the time of day. It is thought that the blue tint of a standard phone or tablet screen can interfere with sleep, if the device is used close to bedtime.
A data saver option will be available for apps allowing users to switch off the background data for particular apps thus saving some bandwidth.
Two essential updates for any OS are an improvement in speed and battery usage. Early use by developers suggests that Android N is an improvement in these crucial areas.
Look out for when the update hits your phone, if you are lucky enough to have a Nexus or one of the more recent flagship phones by the bigger manufacturers. Otherwise, new phones released towards the end of the year are likely to have the update as standard.