One of the most important events this year for many mobile phone users is the launch of Android N, which is likely to happen in the coming months. The first step toward its goal is the release of Android Developer Preview, which happened not long ago.

Today, Google made another major step that puts it even closer to launching Android N. The second developer preview of the new operating system is now available for download.
According to Google, Android N Developer Preview 2 brings a handful of important new features aimed at regular users and developers alike.
Those lucky enough to own one of the Nexus devices compatible with Android N Developer Preview will be pleased to know that Google brings Vulkan, the new 3D rendering API, to its new OS.
Thanks to Vulkan’s reduction of CPU overhead, Google promises synthetic benchmarks with as much as 10 times the draw-call throughput on a single core, as compared to OpenGL ES.
New launcher shortcuts, new emoji design Furthermore, Google confirmed the second Android N Developer Preview release adds launcher shortcuts, so apps can now define shortcuts which users can expose in the launcher to help them perform actions quicker.
“These shortcuts contain an Intent into specific points within your app (like sending a message to your best friend, navigating home in a mapping app, or playing the next episode of a TV show in a media app),” explains Google in a blog post.
Emoji Unicode 9 support has been implemented as well. The new emoji design moves away from the generic look in favor of a more “human-looking design.” It’s also worth mentioning that the update adds support for skin tone variations and Unicode 9 glyphs.
Last but not least, many API changes are included in the update, as Google continues to polish major features like multi-windows support, notifications, and others.
Google stated that its engineers squashed lots of bugs and addressed a number of issues throughout the system, many of which have been reported by testers via the public issue tracker.