Android N release date and news: Reports claim Google wants to change navigation (again)

A firm Android N release date isn’t far off, and with developer previews already in the wild we’re getting a good idea of how Google’s new mobile operating system is shaping up. The latest is a report that Google is giving its home and navigation bar a do-over.

According to Android Police, Google is redesigning its navigation buttons, only a couple of years since the company last redesigned them. A mock-up of the new version, based on information given by a “reliable sourceâ€￾, shows opaque icons and a colourful home button.

“According to our source, the new multi-colored home button does animate in some fashion when long-pressed, with the various colors expanding in their corresponding directions until they all file out horizontally,â€￾ the site says. “I know – it’s not exactly easy to visualize, but stuff happens. As you can see, all they keys are also now opaque – an interesting change.â€￾

Android Police do note that they lack a corroborating source for the information, and admit that Google likes to change its plans late in the process. The colourful redesign is sure to be somewhat divisive, although there isn’t a suggestion it will have any real functional impact. The colours do shout Google, so it will be interesting to see if the company intends to roll it out beyond its newest Nexus phones.

Android N: Everything we know so far

Every year, Android gets an overhaul. Alphabet lover that it is, Google likes to give its annual OS iteration a consecutively lettered name. 2015’s was Android M (Marshmallow), 2016’s is Android N.

Google has teased that it will soon reveal what the N stands for. The company has also recently released Android N Developer Preview 4, allowing developers and brave early adopters to get a hands-on grip with the mobile OS’s new features.

We’ve reviewed the developer preview of Android N (7) here. Below we have a roundup of the essential information relating to Android N, including details about its release date, which phones will get the update, headline features, and how to download the developer preview.

Android N: Release date

Google announced during its annual I/O event that Android N would launch “later this summerâ€￾. It’s not exactly an iron-set release date, but it does suggest we’ll get Android N around early September.

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