Google has somehow managed to catch us by surprise today, officially announcing the first ever taste of the new Android O. As usual, Android O is currently in Developer Preview, and Google will be rolling out refreshes of the new OS over the course of the next couple of months while quashing bugs, improving stability, features and so on. Google will provide us a closer look at its I/O event in May later this year. There are obviously a bunch of new stuff that come with Android O, but here’s a few worth noting:

Battery life has always been a concern for smartphones as developers strive for better battery life behind the scenes. We’ve seen results on the difference that the Doze feature does to battery life, but Google will be bringing it a step further wiht background limits in Android O. This means additional automatic limits are being added to what the apps do when they’re running in the backround in three key areas – implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. This is said to bring a significant change to battery life.

Notification channels looks like a more refined version of grouped notifications, as far as their looks go. Notification channels are new app-defined categories for notification content. This allows app developers to have more specific controls over various app notifications. New visuals have also beed added to the notifications shade and how notifications are grouped.

Next up is Autofill APIs which will make the process of setting up new apps and making transactions easier. Google has added platform support for autofill in Android O, hence users will be able to select autofill apps like how they select keyboards for input. The autofill app will store and secure different forms of user data such as usernames, addresses and passwords.

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This one might probably be an Android fan favorite – PIP (Picture in Picture). With Android O, the PIP feature will be available for both phones and tablets. This allows users to watch videos without interruption while navigating through other apps. Users will be able to set aspect ratios and custom interactions for PIP such as pause and play. This will definitely come in handy for multitasking.   

Adaptive launcher icons are a welcome addition to Android O. Icons will be displayed in different shapes across different devices. Developers from different smartphone brands will select different masks, and icons will be shaped according to the chosen mask. Interactions with the icons will also be animated, and will be implemented across the launcher, shortcuts, Settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.

Connectivity wise, Android O comes with the LDAC codec support, which is a high quality Bluetooth audio codec. This might hint at future Android devices forgoing the headphone jack. Wi-Fi Aware is a new addition as well, allowing devices nearby each other to communicate over Wi-Fi without a need for an access point.

Sounds like a new OS full of different surprises, but that’s not all. You can view the rest of what’s new with Android O by clicking on the source link below. Android Nougat distribution was last known to stand at less than 3 percent, time will tell how Android O will fare this time next year. What do you think of Android O so far?

Source: Google


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