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Google releases this final Android 7.0 developer preview earlier that expected.

This fifth and final preview release offers a system image that is "nearly finalized" for supported Nexus devices, the Pixel C, and the General Mobile 4G Android One. Google still doesn't mention support for the Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653 models) which they also haven't done for their past releases. Supported devices that are enrolled in Google's Android Beta program will receive the latest preview as an over-the-air update.

The update gives developers the final user interface and APIs to test their apps against, and ensure they're ready for Android behavior changes, such as the battery and memory optimizations with Doze on the Go, Google's Project Svelte background optimisations, and security related permission changes. Some of the features end-users are likely more keen to experience when using Android apps are the running apps side-by-side, new Unicode 9.0 emojis and the ability to reply directly to messages within the notifications interface.

This preview still contains a number of stability issues and bugs. MapView sometimes shows up as blank or out of focus when resized in multi-window mode, and Do Not Disturb mode occasionally causes a device reboot. Google is also fixing a screen zoom issue that affects multi-APK apps with an update to Google Play services and fleshing out support for the Vulkan graphics API. Finally, Google notes crashing issue when Google Maps is used with Android Auto will be fixed in an update to Maps in coming weeks.

To further spark interest, the Android engineering team will be doing a Reddit AMA today at 12-2 PM Pacific Time so that fans and developers can ask their burning questions about the current release.

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 July 2016
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Stefan Kudev

"I'm a tech journalist with over 5 years of experience, specialising in mobile coverage and software."

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