Subremer GMR

Android and the shifting simplicity spectrum

With the first Android P developer preview inching ever-closer to its arrival, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of Google’s Android software and where it stands in the grander mobile tech ecosystem.

Even within Android itself, after all, it’s hard to talk about the “new” features of a major release without acknowledging the fact that, in some form, many of those features have often long existed in third-party manufacturers’ implementations of the software.

Take Nougat, for example. The big headline feature from 2016’s Android 7.0 release was the addition of split-screen mode — the ability to view two apps on-screen at the same time. Another noteworthy element was an expanded Quick Settings area, with an added set of always-present toggles atop the regular notification panel and a newly customizable set of tiles when you swipe down from that view.

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