Google released the developer preview of the latest version of Android, codenamed Android O. It includes various features like notification channels, background limits, picture-in-picture mode, etc. The developer preview can be manually downloaded and flashed on selected devices. Right now, Google has made this preview available only to its devices – Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C and an emulator to test it on Android Wear 2.0. Although the name has not been finalized yet; our guesses is it will be named Oreo. Here are some notable features of Android O.
Android O Features
More control over notifications
You can find some visual updates on the notification bar. Furthermore, a new feature called Notification Channels gives user more power and control over notifications. You can separate the notifications into specific channels or categories defined by the developers. You can now block or change particular notification channels without having to manage all the notifications for a specific app. You can also alter the way notification is shown by changing its sound, lights, vibration, importance, etc.
Reduced battery consumption
Power consumption has been a serious problem with today’s modern devices. Google has kept that in mind while developing Android O. 8.0 has automatic limits for throttling the apps trying to use resources in the background. Google has put boundaries for background resource uses, updates and broadcasts.
Google has made changes to the way icons appear on Android O. App icons may sometimes look odd when they don’t align properly and affect the overall beauty of the UI. The adaptive icons feature was developed keeping that in mind. It makes the icons to be displayed in a more streamlined was so they can look good with the rest of the UI.
Autofill is essential when you have to time the same text (such as name, passwords, addresses, etc.) over and over again. Many people use 3rd party autofill apps to make it easier for them to use their device. Google has implemented better autofill APIs that can integrate with the system well.
Picture in Picture
Picture in Picture or PiP actually arrived on Android Nougat first, but it was only limited to Android TV. Now, Google brings this feature to Android phones and tablets. This features basically allows you to watch a video in a small window while you do other stuffs on the bigger portion of the screen.
Android O will support multiple displays which will allow user to switch activity between multiple screens if the activity supports multi-window. We will learn more about this on the upcoming Google I/O event.
Android O supports LDAC and a Bluetooth audio codec. This will improve the quality of wirelessly streamed audio of Bluetooth connected devices. Furthermore, a new audio API has been integrated for the app requiring high performance and low latency audio.
This features allows Android devices to connect with each other over WiFi and share information without the need of an internet connection. The devices must have capable hardware to be able to connect. This requires no wireless access point.
How can you download?
This is the first release and more will follow in the coming months. Final release will arrive in Q3 of this year. This is just the developer preview and is not meant to be your daily driver. Android O developer version can be downloaded manually and flashed on previously mentioned devices. Leave us your feedback on the latest version of Android on the comments below.
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