Android N Developer Preview 2 — let's talk bugs and issues

We've had a few weeks with the second Android N Developer Preview under our belt — I've been running it on my Nexus 5X using either Project Fi or T-Mobile — and that's plenty of time to talk about how it's working out so far. So let's talk about our bug lists!

Before we go in too deep, remember that what we have from Android N so far is clearly labeled a developer preview. Nobody at Google (or anyone else) is claiming that it's ready for prime-time, and bugs should be expected. In fact, things that may have worked well on the last preview can be completely broken. That's what test software is all about — turning ideas into code, building it, and seeing what crashes and burns and what works as expected.

One other thing — if you're testing, be sure to fill out bug reports! To do that, check the AOSP issue tracker for Android Dev-preview-N here. If you see your bug, star the item. If your bug isn't listed, fill out the form here to have it added. And please, don't post things like "PLZ BETA FOR NEXUS 5!!!!!!" or anything that isn't related to issues with the beta OS. All that does is take time away from the people working on the bugs, who aren't likely the people deciding which phones and tablets have the software available.

Enough of this, let's talk about how it works!

Android N

In a lot of ways, Preview 2 (and that's what I'm going to call it for clarity's sake) is better than the first one was. In other ways, it's worse. I no longer crash my 5X any time I switch from T-Mobile LTE to WiFi when WiFi calling is enabled. My videos don't flicker every time I try to play them back (though I do get a black screen sometimes). I get less connectivity errors when using apps that are just a wrapper for a webpage or webapp. Chrome crashes less (but still crashes too often). A big deal to a friend where there were some pretty crazy mathematical errors in fairly simple code that was causing out of bounds exceptions has been fixed. Lots of good stuff there, and it shows that there have been a lot of changes to the existing code outside of any new additions.

I also really dig the new folder style. Call me crazy, but I like the way it looks like a little porthole into the app drawer. Launcher shortcuts are cool, even though I probably wouldn't use them. Too much on my home screen makes me a little twitchy (I have a folder that holds every app on my Robin, and am so glad the app launcher isn't going away). Platform-level Vulkan support is also pretty awesome to look forward to.

But to me, it's still not ready for a daily driver. I'm having three major issues that are show-stoppers and make Preview 2 something I can't depend on:

  • Most of the time, I can't make or receive a phone call. The phone rings when one is coming in, it can make outgoing calls just fine, but chances are either there's is no sound on my end or no sound on the other, or possibly both. I've seen some people say this happens to them, some say it doesn't and some say it was doing it but randomly stopped.
  • I'm getting far too many random restarts. I reach for the phone and I see that I need to enter my PIN to restart Android. That tells me the phone restarted. I can shut that off so it can start back up, but then I won't know that it restarted. I need a phone that's dependable, because I'm a dinosaur and still talk on the phone.
  • Crazy lag and overheating when apps that display media crash. I'm not alone here, either. When something like Google Photos or YouTube crashes, I know I'll have to reboot. If I don't, things will quickly slow to a crawl and the phone gets hot. Some process is running wild under the hood, and keeping the CPU pegged. A reboot fixes things until the next time an app crashes.

Of course, there are plenty of expected issues with apps, but there's a good chance the apps themselves are at fault (at least partially). I've got no problem if a developer is taking their time and using these previews to be able to release something polished and ready when Android N officially launches.

Android N

If you only have one phone (and it happens to be in the Beta program and has an N Developer Preview available) I won't suggest you install it unless you've the time and patience to flash back and set everything up again. Maybe next time.

What about you folks? What bugs are you seeing, which ones have been fixed and are you using Preview 2 as your daily driver? Hit the comments and share your experiences and tell us if it's working reliable for you. I'm especially interested in what folks using a Sony Xperia Z3 have to say, so be extra sure to holler if that's you!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I gave up on N when they removed WiFi mode switch in N2 causing my Nexus 9 to be stuck in 5GHz mode that I switched it to after N1 had issues connecting to hidden networks. When I filed a bug, I was told it's working as intended since the device decided (or should decide) automatically the best band. Oh well... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have found a lot of issues. I am switching on an off between marshmallow and N. I don't see restarts but my wife Nexus 6p restarts often. Apps crash is norm. When phone gets warm or hot phone feels sluggish lags and stutters and also when I use multi window and then I use apps with context menu they are hard to interact as they are sequezzed. Battery I found almost same on N and M. But those app crashes makes me switch back Android M but also make me love my iOS experience. Initially I liked Android N and felt hard to go back to Android M. But now I feels like little or no difference. So I am okay with Android M for almost 5 days I guess. BTW I think Android N settings are bit time saver and multi window is useful( but I use not too often ) now I feel there are too little changes when I compare to speed and crashes issues I am sure a lot these issues will be sorted out in final.
  • Please tell me your wife is a developer or very tech-alpha-beta-software savy!
  • What's the point ? All issues mentioned are those which I am facing except restart issue. And anyone can tell if there phone is restarting often.
  • I tried it with Nexus 6, I regret everything. Phone works 35% of the time I want it to and the other times it lags, freezes, and screen stays off. I would suggest folks to read this 3 Reasons Not To Install the Android N Beta
  • Marginally sexist comment, you presume she isn't because she's female. There are lots of tech-capable males and females out there that aren't developers. Have a word with yourself.
  • First, which part was the presumption? Second, which part was the presumption based on gender?
  • You didn't ask him if he's tech savvy? He didn't say anything particularly technical other than standard things that anyone would pick up on - but you didn't question his ability to be running the Dev Preview.
  • He's on an Android specialist site talking about his experience with a developer preview. And your problem, is that I didn't question his technical credentials? (Note, this is not me making any claims to his technical prowess other than it's above mass market.) He's also here speaking for himself. Again, most importantly, where is the gender based presumption?
  • Another Preview N bashing post from our friends at AC. I have been using it on the N6 as a "daily driver" for a month with just a few minor issues. It's almost flawless.
  • I didn't see it as bashing. You run it as your daily driver but mentioned that you have a few minor issues. I
    think they want you to discuss those if you wish to. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or maybe I have different standards. I took the time to explain.
  • Oh snap!
  • I'll explain. I couldn't use Preview 1 as my daily, but this one?
    It is WAY more stable. And whole lotta ppl agree with me. You're being overly negative, in line with this site somehow anti Google/ Nexus stance.
    I remember listening to the Preview N podcast, and it sounded to me like you guys were talking about leprosy, lol
  • Hahahaha Android is Anti-Nexus? That's a new one. Where were you a couple of months ago when people were calling it Nexus Central? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The "I'm not having a problem, so the problem must be YOU." is not really a helpful troubleshooting method in tech. Are you running exactly the same apps? Do you have exactly the same cellular profiles? Do you have exactly the same usage models? Etc etc. If you're not, one could have a problem where the other is problem free.
  • You have no reason to justify a well written truthful article. I have this on my N6, and in the future will wait until the software is ready. I shuld have installed it on the N5 not the 6 since it is a daily driver. I fail to see why the truth irks some people. This is a beta and things are to be expected to go wrong while in beta, but the things that you talk about plague me and make me regret installing it in a daily driver.....period! I dind it to be stable in some regards, but not polished enough in others. To amke calls and evwerything is fine but to use and run other apps it is not ready. DON'T say that the apps are developer issues, because regardless thses apps are all related to the total expereinece.
  • Same here I'm running it on my Nexus 6P and it's pretty stable definitely good enough for my daily driver!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • @Qbancelli - How is talking about the bugs on a beta, bashing?? Google wants you to help find these bugs and talk about them so they can fix it. They dont need any apologists like you who will settle for crap "with a few minor issues" Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jerry is reporting bugs and that means he is bashing it? He even tagged the article with "beta" -- I am pretty sure we all know what beta means. It means stuff WILL break. Hence why they're testing it.
  • So far I have found it rather stable. Some apps don't work right but it is a developer preview or beta as said. My biggest issues I see are a battery drain on my Nexus 6, and both slight overheating and random reboots with both my Nexus 6 and Pixel C. Haven't noticed to much else. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have been using as daily driver for a week. Phone calls and texts have not been an issue whatsoever. Working fine. I have had no reboots. Only issues so far cannot add account to Gmail. When I tap to add, App crashes. Tapping on battery setting and looking at what percentage apps are using, when I tap on the app to force close it, settings crashes every time. All in all pretty stable. I am going to continue as daily driver for a while. Battery life seems to actually increased. I do not download ton of apps (103 total installed) they all work well. Posted from Nexus 6 running Android N
  • I like folder style too, because that's exactly how folders have looked on my phone for ages. I use my launcher settings to put a background and circular mask to all my icons, and the default setting for folders is just 4 icons in a grid, so those things combined give me exactly the design Google has come up with. Just a lucky coincidence. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I liked it(looks cleaner with circle) but after updating Google App couple days ago folders went back to original style. Anyone else? Posted from Nexus 6 running Android N
  • Mine too, but i hadn't noticed what app had changed it back
  • For anyone who can find issues, please post it here:
  • Thanks, that was in the 3rd paragraph.
  • Oops. Though, Nexus 5 already has a post for getting Android N to it:
  • Sweet, I didn't know it was already ported to the Nexus 5, Thanks!
  • It's not (or at least I didn't read about it). It's a request that Google won't neglect Nexus 5, and provide Android N to it too.
    But, it might be that Google tests Android N on Nexus 5, but just doesn't publish it.
  • The preview has run flawlessly on my N6.....Texting,phone calls....check. No reboots. All media plays fine with no issues. Except for the new features I can not tell the difference between N and Marshmallow.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Using it in Xperia Z3 here, for 1 week, and i think it s reaally good. Didn t have any problems with wifi, videos, etc, just noticed that sometimes i have no phone signal(and i used to have in another android version). Sometimes the apps crash, but here is rare Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thanks! I don't know anyone with a Z3 who is using it, so I haven't been able to hear much feedback.
  • So I am using a Sony Z3 on Android Developer N. It was running as stable as Marshmallow though quite a few apps were quite poorly especially SatNav apps like TomTom and Sygic. Anyway i added a second Google account, this caused the app store to crash and then all sorts of odd things happened. i rebooted the phone and my memory card which i had formatted as internal stopped working. Had to reset and format the card as a standard SD for it to work again. Since then, no problems, i've added the second google account and all is fine at the moment. Calls perfect both ways, love the new notifications and just the fine subtle maturing functionality, for example the extra automation in priority mode. just feels more polished than previous versions.
  • Interesting. Was the adopted card working fine before adding the second account? Sounds like the system had problems creating the new account permissions in the various data folders when set to internal and formatted/mounted as ext. That's why it's great that Sony is offering beta testing — no SD cards on Nexus phones.
  • Yeah it was odd, seems fine now it is formatted as an standard SD card. Card is fine now. i agree, i also thought it had problems writing permissions somewhere and then was left in a odd state. I remember i went into backup in settings and it said no account was connected for backup even though both accounts had been added. Anyway all good now.
  • I could use it as a daily if only two issues were fixed it gets laggy and have to reboot to fix lag and my Nexus 6p gets a little bit hot if I'm charging and watching videos, but it's a really good preview I'm really looking forward to a few more releases for a few more bugs to be ironed out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm using it on my Pixel C and Nexus Player. The only issues I've had were with HBO Go and Showtime Anytime, neither work, I just get an error. I get a similar error on the Nexus Player when trying to play YouTube videos. They play but not until after an error pops up on the screen. All and all I think it's coming along well but I don't have enough confidence in it to put it on my 6p. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm really tempted to try it on my Z3 for a few days, if only to validate Sony's decision to allow it in the first place. I've only had marshmallow on it a week though, so it would probably be better to see how that works out first, so I have something to compare it to besides trollipop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've lost the new folders. Back to old stacked version. What am I missing? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Same here Posted from Nexus 6 running Android N
  • An update for the Google app a couple of days ago change it back to the old style... They probably had a vote in design, and the old won. I liked the new style..... Art Is My Life. The 6p Is Art. Art with very set rules....
  • I have it on the Z3. Besides the occasional Chrome crashes, the software runs great. I haven't had any over heating either, unless you go into the camera witch is pretty standard for Sony devices. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh, I'm probably one of the few, but I do not like seeing quick settings all the time in notification pull down. I like it nice and clean. Posted from Nexus 6 running Android N
  • +1
    I like the notification area clean. Having Quick settings there just makes it look cluttered to me plus less room for notifications Posted via the Android Central App
  • The N preview is running so well on my Nexus 9 that I sometimes forget I'm running unfinished software. I haven't come across any random reboots and the only app that crashes from time to time is QuickPic. Granted, I don't use my tablet as much as I use my phone and that lowers my chance of running into bugs, but I'm still amazed by how stable the Android N preview is on my Nexus 9. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I was using it on my 5x, and opted out a few days ago. That is all I could stand. Major lag. i could never get away from it. The memory management was also horrendous for me. i could hit home, set the phone down, go back a minute or two later, and the app would reload from splash screen. Replying to texts and line chats from within the notifications was iffy. I altered the clock for one of my games after playing it for thirty minutes, the game would never load after that. No matter what i did. I did not have any random restarts, or phone call issues. i also opted into the beta on the day they released P2. so maybe this is why i didn't have those issues.
  • This sounds like behavior of my Nexus 5X on Marshmallow. It took 45 seconds to open an email in Gmail after doze! April patch of 6.0.1 didn't fix it for me :-( This is my work phone, so can't try N on it. Dragan Posted via the Android Central App
  • that sucks. hate to hear it.
  • I haven't found a reason to flash back to mm yet. I've been enjoying it and haven't had any issues with fi network although I'm pretty new to fi and haven't dug in much yet either. I had no idea about wifi calling capabilities until this post do obviously I still have some things to learn. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been using it on the Nexus 9 since the second beta dropped. I can definitely tell this is preview software. Some apps don't open at all, chrome is sometimes super slow to open and there is lag and jank throughout the system that you generally don't find in a finished Android release. I'm not a dev and I wouldn't use this on my daily driver Nexus 6P but it's fun getting a preview into the future of Android. I'll be sure to log on and star the bugs I'm seeing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My favourite bug is the long awaited "reboot". My Nexus 9 simply wont shut down, it just reboots. And most of the times I'm more then happy with that! =)
  • I had this bug too. I ran my tablet down until it shut off and then charged it. It shuts off like on marshmallow now. I would also like a true restart option on pure Android though. :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mine freezes right before it shuts down so I have to power down through the bootloader Posted via my glorious Nexus 6P
  • Ok
    Maybe you guys can help me out. I was using N on my Nexus 6P, but out of nowhere my battery would lose 20% an hour with no usgae. Just in standby. Its my 2nd phone so not a huge deal. I just put marshmallow back on it Posted via the Android Central App
  • Decided to try the latest N preview on my 6P. The browser I like doesn't work. Warning said to uninstall and reinstall CM BROWSER but doesn't work. At least GHOSTERY is working.
    Going to mess with it some more when I get a chance.
  • So my Nexus 5x the quick launcher feature is not there, my folders aren't the new type ,layout. Also okay Google command donest work unless I'm on Google now screen (have tried everything to fix that no luck) also the taskbar drop down menu,when I click on say wifi it doesn't toggle on and off instead it opens the wifi settings. If anyone has fixes for these issues ...
  • No fixes, it's beta. Nature of the beast. Posted from Nexus 6 running Android N
  • Ya that's true but wonder if anyone else is having those issues ?
  • There was an issue with the folder stuff if you are on the beta for Google app, remove yourself from the beta and you will get the new style folders back. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ok Google doesn't work with screen off on my end either. It's a known issue with the preview. Posted from Nexus 6 running Android N
  • Besides one of my apps not working (lose it, keeps forgetting login details) it's pretty stable on my 6p, it laggy every now and again, but reboot sorts it, and preview 2 fixes the Barclaycard NFC issue, so I'll stick with it and see what's next after IO Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hotspot doesn't work on my 5x. It turns off almost automatically.
  • I did remove myself from beta on Google and still no new folder or launcher
  • Go into your system apps and uninstall the system updates on your Google app you'll get your folders back but you can't update the Google app in the play store leave it in updated or you'll lose it's a special Google app for the DP2 Posted via the Android Central App
  • If this is related to getting the new version of folders back could you explain a little more please? The location of the Google system app. Many thanks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Most things work well enough for me on my 6P. I do see the reboots via the please enter pin or pattern. My biggest issue is music playback via bluetooth headset on Play Music. After one song finishes, it does move on to the next but the audio stops playing, if I push the rewind/back button the new song will start. Is anyone else getting this?
  • I have the same issue on my Nexus 6. Really annoying!!
  • I have a similar issue. Mine will play about 2-3 songs and then stop until I unlock the phone then itll play again. Posted via Nexus 5X
  • This is the biggest issue I have.
  • wow, having almost no issues.. most of mine have been random apps not working yet, like HBO Go.
  • So far I've noticed 2 apps (Sonic Dash 2 and Destiny) that don't play nice with N (Sonic Dash 2 immediately crashes on startup and Destiny crashes when attempting to sign in via PSN (not sure if signing in via XBL is also affected). I have reached out to the devs in question regarding those issues (even though I most likely won't get a response) so at least they know about the issues. The only other issue I've had with my Pixel C is that I can't seem to set up OK Google detection. No matter how many times I say "OK Google" when prompted, the setup doesn't progress. That said, I don't particularly use it that much anyway so I'm not too worried about it.
  • It's running flawless on my Nexus 6P I'm using it as my daily driver!! Now the Developer Preview 1 I just couldn't use but DP2 is much better!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have been using the Android n preview 2 as my daily driver for a week now on my Nexus 5x. I've gotta say it's surprisingly smooth and I haven't run into any major issues. The only problem I've had so far is I can't connect to a 802.11ac router. Other than that everything works great. I also have occasional app crashes bit that's expected for a beta. I'm looking for to preview 3, hopefully it's released soon. Posted via Nexus 5X
  • Use it as my daily driver in 5x with very minimal problems Posted via the Android Central App
  • Crazy math?? Simple code??? I'm intrigued ¡Mas chisme por favor! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Been using N2 on my Z3 for a week without many issues after I had to do a clean install. Tried with my data in place and everything was working apart from exchange that wouldn't let me add my works email account. Tried to disable and reenable exchange but didn't work so thought I'd try it from fresh. Been great so far and the exchange issue is gone. I have two-factor authentication on my google account and all of my devices decided to ask for re-authentication so I couldn't import my previous settings which was a pain in the ass (and I didn't have any backup codes to hand). A few small issues i've noticed - when trying to see the battery usage stats for individual apps the settings app crashes but I can live with that and some of the settings menu's burger menu also don't do anything. Battery life isn't great however, it seems to fluctuate between 3-4 hours screen on time which is fine for me most days so I'll leave it for now.
  • I loaded it a month ago or so and loved the new notifications and all. I found it very stable, no restarts at all, and very few app crashes. I went back to Marshmallow yesterday because I found out that I couldn't do it without bluetooth sync to my Fitbit and none of my online banking apps worked. I found out that it was a PITA to do without those. But now I'm missing the notifications under N.
  • Honestly I run it on my Nexus 6p as a daily driver and find no problems so far but maybe I am not a heavy user or just lucky. One thing I notice is that the keyboard flickrs a bit once in a while other than that nothing is crashing and phone really doesn't restart. Maybe gets a bit hot but not sure it's the software
  • I flashed it on my N6P -> discovered that Mi Band's Mi Fit app is not working because the device can't pair -> restored to MM :D
    Hopefully they'll fix this before the official launch, because I bought a 6-inch device to use the split screen, and the multiwindows option in Marshmallow is a pre-alpha :D
  • I've been using Android N as my "daily driver" since the start. As a famous tech reviewer used to say, "I do these silly things so you don't have to." Generally speaking, my regular use of the phone has not been adversely affected. The apps I use the most work fine, and the only problem I see with some apps I use less frequently is the "native libraries" error message that pops up but doesn't appear to affect the functionality of the app. Under Preview 2, I've had the occasional unexpected reboot, and the NFL Mobile app crashes on startup and restart in both Preview 2 and the initial iteration of the OS.
  • I threw it on my Nexus 9 the minute you guys posted about the beta program. Had the bugs and issues with Preview 1, freezing/hanging, a couple of games that wouldn't play, and terrible battery life that seemed like it came from the processor running rather hot. Preview 2 fixed one of those issues for me, my games would launch. The freezing/hanging, especially with Chrome, only seemed to get worse. I liked a lot that I saw with it, especially the notifications, but I went back to Marshmallow because this is my primary device I use at home and it just got to frustrating waiting for Chrome or my keyboard to pop up. Looking forward to N when it comes out later this year though.
  • I've been using the 2nd preview on my daily Nexus 6 for a week now and I've had very few issues. I've made calls fine, taken calls fine, sent and received texts and WhatsApp messages. Battery life has been acceptable, that said I work in an office so plugging it into my PC is no issue. Camera is fine, Chrome browsing is fine (think it crashed once)... only having marginal slowdowns and jankies are rare. All in all, pretty pleased with it.
  • Am I the only one who doesn't have the new folder style? Also, I've been using the preview as my daily driver since it came out. More or less it's been fine, I've thought about switching back a few times, but so far it's been good enough for me!
  • My nexus 6 suddenly died.
    can't boot into bootloader, nor adb and fastboot are seeing him.
    even when plugged into the PC, QS-HUB stuff show in device manager
    RIP nexus 6
  • Same here after update with android N (nexus 5x), i'm so sad :(
  • Previews have been running great for me. I've been using it as a daily driver since preview 1. I'm curious as to how each person who's having a bad experience flashed the preview? I wiped my device and fast boot flashed my images separately
    Did the people with more problems install as an OTA? Did Google restore their apps and data? There should be a poll for the results.
  • I've been running it as a daily driver on my N6 and it causes quite a few ANR's. Many apps are not updated so they will not update through the store or work at all.
    Every time I start/restart the N6 I get the "com.qualcomm.telephony has stopped" notification.
    When will Google add a "Restart" option to the power on/off? I restart my phone every morning. It would be convenient to just restart. Not turn off and then power up again. Brain dead IMO.
  • Are you rooted? I have a widget from titanium backup that allows "reboot or reboot to recovery"
  • Nexus 6P works very well. there are issues with Bluetooth headset - occasional call drop outs. But nothing major, wont say it is table but it is pretty good. Battery Life is very descent. Also when I tried on the Nexus 6 it was very sluggish and the battery life was horrible with device restarting quiet frequenty.
  • Here's a pretty decent bug for you, and one that makes me REALLY regret updating my Google Fi Nexus 6 to Android N: I can no longer update any of the Google apps on this device. 3rd-party apps to upgrade but not the Google apps. I have seen suggested solutions on the internet such as deleting and re-activating my Google account on the phone, clearing the caches, etc etc, but none of this works. This is a doozy of a bug since I was notified by Google that my Google Fi Nexus 6 was eligible for upgrading to N early. I am going to try to downgrade back to an older version.
  • HEy! I update my Nexus 5X with android N and is not opening, is dead.I tried to press volume down + power and nothing happens.I need my phone, is useless now.Anyone got this problem ?