Google recently released the first developer preview of the last dubbed Android Android O. The new iteration of Android brings with it a series of new features and improvements compared to its predecessor: Android 7.0 Nougat. While nobody can imagine what the new version of Android will be (Oreo gets my vote, by the way), the new features and all the new improvements in the latest version of the Android operating system are available for anyone. We have installed the Android O developer preview on our Nexus 5X, played with it for quite some time, and here are the 8 Android O features you should know:
1. Improved notifications
Android O offers even more control over notifications thanks to a feature called " Notification channels "With this new feature, apps can classify notifications into different categories, allowing users to configure notification settings on a "by category" basis, rather than the old method of configuring notifications for the whole app. For example, the News app can classify notifications based on the type of news you are following and you will be able to disable notifications for specific news types, rather than having to suppress notifications from the full app.
Another interesting new feature that Android O brings to notifications "Snooze". Now you can postpone notifications that you would prefer to deal with later. By default, notifications are snoozed for 15 minutes, but you can increase them up to 1 hour. When the notification reappears, it will be rejected with the same level of importance it was originally. In addition, apps can update snoozed notifications, but updating notifications does not overwrite snooze. This means that if you postpone a notification and it updates, you will simply see the notification updated once the snooze period ends. This is certainly a function that will make management notifications much simpler.
2. Picture in Picture mode in phones and tablets
With the release of Android Nougat, Android TVs began supporting Picture in Picture mode. However, not many developers jumped on the PiP bandwagon, and the Play Store was left with a serious lack of apps that supported functionality. With Android O, Google is trying to change all of this and is bringing PiP mode to phones and tablets with Android O. This should definitely give developers the push to make their apps compatible with Picture in Picture mode.
At present, the YouTube app appears to support PiP. It also has a switch to allow PiP for the app. However, even with activation, I couldn't get PiP to work on the YouTube app. The function certainly present, of course, but I have not been able to examine Google's claims that the PiP window will be able to have customized proportions and much more. Either way, I think PiP is an interesting feature, albeit a novelty for most people. It remains to be seen whether or not it actually makes a difference compared to the way we use our Android phones.
3. Battery life improvements
Android O also aims to improve your device's battery life quite a bit. It does this in many ways. However, a couple of changes definitely stand out. First, Android brought the "Doze" feature to Android Marshmallow, with the aim of reducing the amount of battery consumption by a device while it slept. With Nougat, the Doze feature was made a little aggressive in the way it handled background activities during sleep. Now, on Android O, Google has continued to make Doze even better with a high level of restrictions applied to app activities when the device is stopped.
Apps on devices with Android O will have to endure limits of background pi aggressive compared to Nougat. These limits will be implemented in three main areas that cause background battery drain: location updates, broadcasts, background services . Background apps on Android O devices will only be able to request your location a few times in an hour. In addition, they will not be able to register for implicit transmissions unless they are in the foreground. There is a lot of technical jargon involved, but the bottom line that Google is working even harder to extend the device's battery life.
4. Custom lock screen shortcuts
A very useful feature that Google has added in Android O – the custom lock screen shortcuts – also one that many people might know from some custom ROMs. While in previous versions of Android, you can swipe from the left or right corner to activate the connections for the camera and the phone; in Android O, you can use the system user interface tuner to set up two apps in those locations. Therefore, while you probably use the camera link from the lock screen, you can replace the Phone app link with an app you use most often.
5. Settings page redesigned
With Android O, the Settings page has been redesigned … by new. almost a ritual now. But joking aside, Google has done a great job trying to make it more organized Settings pagejust as it should have been. Sure, it will take some time to get used to the new Settings page in Android O, but it will definitely be worth it. shorter than you will find in Nougat, thanks to all categories of objects.
The main changes you will see relate to the fact that things like "About phone", "Developer options", "Language and input" etc. They are found in a wider category called "System". Not C' not even a menu to scrolling in the Settings app, like in Nougat, which I actually liked a little.
6. Ambient display
With Android O, changes have also been made to how Android handles notifications on a device's environmental display. On devices with Android Nougat, the room display showed very detailed notifications, sometimes even showing images on the room display. While this was good, because the view of the environment was able to show a lot of information regarding the notifications, it influenced us a lot on the battery life. So Android O chooses to show only small app icons on the environmental screen device, preserving a lot of battery and keeping the display clean and organized.
7. Installing apps from external sources
Installing apps from sources other than the Play Store has been an integral part of Android. As long as you enable the security setting to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources, you can install any APK you want. However, once this setting is enabled, all apps may automatically start installing on your Android device. To handle this, Google has changed the way that installation from external sources works in Android O. In Android O, you will need to allow installation from unknown sources, based on the app .
For example, if you downloaded an app from Google Chrome, you need to enable setting of unknown sources for Google Chrome . Which means that if you download an APK from a different browser the next time, you will need to manually enable the settings for that browser. Personally, I think this is a good way to move towards greater security in an open platform as much as a platform. There is still a long way to go, of course, and doing it manually for each different app will be a bit more complicated, but if it helps to keep our devices only a lot safer, then I think it's worth it.
8. Changes to the user interface
Android O has also brought a plethora of UI changes. Some of these are small changes, and some are a little more noticeable, but for the most part they are all good. Some of the changes that I have observed and that are announced are mentioned below.
The date and time text on the status bar changed significantly and, with Android O, Google opted for a very character cleaner and thinner on the status bar . In addition, once the notification tone is completely lowered, by touching the WiFi, the Bluetooth icons no longer open the quick settings page, choosing instead to activate WiFi or Bluetooth. However, you can still tap the text below the icons to open the quick settings panel. L' battery indicator is always found in the status bar of Android O, unlike Android N, where it was used to switch to Quick Settings as soon as the notification tone was lowered.
Another important change in Android O is that it is no longer possible to view the battery percentage inside the battery icon. Even if you enable the setting in System UI Tuner, the percentage will appear on the side of the battery icon in the status bar.
Android O also includes adaptive icons and they are simply amazing. Adaptive icons, as the name suggests, are icons that are displayed by the system in different forms, depending on the mask selected by the device. Therefore, if you use a theme with rounded icons, all apps with adaptive icons will easily switch to a rounded shape. Adaptive icons also get spacing on their sides for animations, which the system renders on user interaction with icons.
Like the new features of Android O?
Android O brings a good number of new features and changes, and while these were the main changes you should absolutely know, there are many other changes and under-optimizations that Android O is bringing to the table, including things like an audio API to low latency (AAudio API), improvements to the Android WebView model and much more. As always, we would like to know your opinions on Android O, what you think will be named and your opinions on these Android O functions. Also, if you know any other interesting function that you believe deserves to be present in this list, let us know in the comments section below.