Random Musings on the N Developer Preview 4
Each time Google releases a new developer preview, I try to talk about the changes that tried to creep in, and the changes that did not make it in.
The N Developer Preview 4 is only slightly different than the
NDP3 predecessor. This is not surprising, as we “head into the home
stretch” for an upcoming product release. There are some
though not much is reported there. The biggest change is with the
multi-window support, where they changed
android:minWidth. Watch for some gently-used
imal strings to be
sold on eBay shortly.
Regressions and Changes… Compared to Production Android or NDP3
Other than the aforementioned attribute changes, little has changed that would represent a regression.
Other Stuff in NDP4
There is a custom pointer API now in Android N, where you can override
the standard mouse pointer on a per-
View basis. For simple changes,
to specify the
to use when the pointer is over that
View. There are many stock
PointerIcon styles to choose from (e.g.,
TYPE_CROSSHAIR), and you can
supply your own (e.g., emoji).
Custom widgets might
elect to override
onResolvePointerIcon(), to be able to provide different
pointer icons for different portions of the widget. Unfortunately, they
elected to go with the override approach rather than an
that you might set or add, which limits flexibility.
There is an
ACTION_WEBVIEW_SETTINGS action string
that you can use,
to bring up a dialog where the user can choose their
implementation. On a Nexus 9 with a freshly-flashed NDP4, the user can
choose from the vast array of one option: Chrome Stable. Presumably,
other options (e.g., dev channel?) will be offered in the future. It
is unclear under what circumstances an app would want to display this
And nothing else leaped out at me as being new and exciting.
Bugs in NDP4
Many of the bugs that I reported previously are still outstanding, including:
- No automatic opt-out for cross-app drop events
- Too-short permissions for cross-app drag-and-drp events
StorageVolumeAPI failing on USB drives
- Conflicts between
PopupWindowand hover events
TileServicedefault label/icon problems
- Keyboard shortcuts helper responding to the wrong key
seem better, though I am not completely certain if installing an app
ContentProvider is working.
Plus, the “working as intended” multi-window race condition
apparently is still working as Google intended, if not as app developers
might have intended.