Android N will be responsible for some big changes to phones and tablets, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some interesting things happening to the Android TV platform, as well. Installing the developer preview images onto a Nexus Player reveals some welcome improvements to the look and behavior of the Settings app, including a new visual layout and support for multiple accounts.
New Design for Settings
Left: previous version. Right: Android N Preview.
The Settings app has been given an entirely new look. Say goodbye to multiple rows of tiles, they’ve been replaced by a single column that looks very similar to the regular Settings app on phones or tablets, except it’s anchored to the right side of the screen. Items are still organized into the same groups and have the same content, it’s just a different layout. Text remains about the same size, but the huge icons have been traded in for much smaller counterparts.
This design change has at least one notable drawback: it requires more clicks on a remote to get to anything beyond the items that were in the first row. If you’re using the really loose, creaky remote from the Nexus Player, you’ll understand why this is such a noticeable side-effect.
Most items on the list open up to fill the same right-side column. This is really no different than the previous version, which also opened to a column on the right, but it draws attention to the roughly 60% of the screen that is completely unused. Remember, this is a preview release, so there may be more changes coming–perhaps the Settings app will take on a split-pane layout similar to that of tablets.
There are still some inconsistencies when the Settings app has to open screens provided by other apps. Since they were designed to fit into