Google May Add Live-Support App for Nexus in Android N, Along with Navigation Bar Refresh
We’re in the last few days of the first half of 2016, which means that a lot of what was supposed to happen in the Android world for this year has already happened: we’ve seen the newest sets of SoC’s in consumer-ready products, we’ve seen Android OEMs bring out said products and we’ve even had glimpses of what the future holds for modularity and virtual reality. But at this stage, we are still missing one big event in the Android world: the official unveiling of Android N.
Android N, or whatever it ends up being called, will likely be released towards the beginning of Q4 2016. This puts us right in the correct spot for the rumor season for the upcoming Android release, and the leaks have started to flow.
First up, coming to us courtesy of the folks over at AndroidPolice, it appears that Google has been prepping up an app to aid in screen sharing for the purpose of after-sales support. Dubbed Google Support in its current unreleased state, AndroidPolice’s sources have provided them enough information to create a mockup of the introductory help screen of the said app:
What information can we glean from the mockup? The obvious functionality of the app will be to support screen sharing of the parent device to an after-sales service agent. This is likely to bridge the support gap that comes with going with an online-only sales model, as it will aid in basic troubleshooting of average customer issues without them needing to ship the device back to Google. The mockup just about provides this much information, but a good guess would be that some sort of communication facility or support (through audio or text chat) would be incorporated in the app. The mockup and AndroidPolice’s sources do not address if this app will be limited to just screen sharing (i.e. viewing-only capabilities) or would allow the service agent to interact and perform remote actions.
AndroidPolice has rated this rumor at a 9 out of 10 in confidence. While there are still variables involved and everything, including the name, is not finalized and subject to variation, this functionality will make its way in some form to the upcoming HTC Nexus devices, Sailfish and Marlin. One point to note is that this support app would likely be limited to Nexus devices, since Google does not provide for non-Nexus devices.
If you looked at the above mockup a bit keenly, you may have also noticed something outside of the app intro screen (though AndroidPolice did consciously place it into the mockup). The second rumor related to the upcoming Android N is the redesign of the navigation bar.
AndroidPolice notes that the central button animates upon a long press. The keys are also opaque now. This small change sounds more like a re-theme instead of a complete and radical rethink of functionality, so the key behaviour should remain largely unchanged (unless Google does have plans for them in the near future — we don’t know yet).
AndroidPolice has rated this rumor a 7 out of 10 in confidence, with a fair few variables being a possibility. A good guess would be that the redesign is likely to make its way to Nexus devices that will be officially updated to Android N. Things can change till Android N is finally released.
The Nexus hype train began with the leak of specs of the upcoming Sailfish HTC Nexus, and now moves on to the existence of a Nexus-only app and a small redesign of the omnipresent navigation bar. Stay tuned as we find more about the upcoming additions to the Nexus family, because it is about damn time!
What are your thoughts on the leaks so far? Are you excited about the upcoming pair of HTC Nexus? Let us know in the comments below!