Android O – Features, Changes and Everything You Need To Know

If you are not a complete stranger to the mobile tech world, you might have known already about Android O, the latest and most recent Android OS update from Google. Obviously, the new OS like every subsequent Google offering is built on a series of improvements and enhancements.

The new OS has an array of new and improved features to make both users and developers equally happy. All in all, it is the personalisation and customisation that remained as the key of new Android OS. Android O is all set to make users happy about the battery life of their device and help them handling priority of notifications better. There are too many other features and enhancements that are equally commendable. Let’s explain all the promises unleashed by this upcoming Android OS.

What name can we expect finally?

Every time Google comes with its new Android OS update we feel curious about the name of the new OS. Yes, the naming convention of all Android versions has been impressive with funny to bizarre names given to many of them. As of we have come across names like Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat.

Following its tradition of naming the new OS always with a sweet delicacy, we can expect Android O to be named again with a sweet. Some credible speculations that are going on round over the web are suggesting Android Oreo be the possible name of the next OS, but we are still counting time for the official announcement to come up with this.

What’s new and value additions in Android O?

This time the new Android O has been brought by Google, not with just a few palpable enhancements for look and feel of the apps. This time the new OS is expected to give a solid boost to the user experience with robust system optimisation as well. The major focus areas of Android O in all regards have been on performance and customisation.

System performance boost

The new OS is expected to give a solid boost to the system performance by making the apps run faster and smoother across a variety of Android devices. The system enhancement attributes of the Android O will ensure rebooting of the phones twice faster besides ensuring quicker response time for apps and games.

Battery consumption limit for background apps

This is a crucial feature to help Android phones run longer with controlled use of battery power. For all the apps running in the background and eating away your battery power, there will be an option to set limits so that after a certain point the background running apps are automatically prevented from running. This will save devices from running out of battery quickly. This background limit will prevent the apps from checking your location, updating, accessing WIFI and device data in the background.

Smart text selection

Android O will allow you a range of smart activities right from your device as soon as you select a text containing clickable, doable no actionable elements including links, phone numbers, email addresses. Just after selecting a text if the information containing them are actionable with any of the apps present in the device, they would be offered responsive action.

Notification became more customised and better

The whole notification system with the new Android O only became more powerful, value added and customised. Let’s start with the appearance. Notifications with the new OS will appear as tiny colourful dots on the app icon offering a visual glimpse of any activity going on with the app.

The notification system with the new OS will also allow creating different channels as per the preference of getting notifications from some apps in a specific manner. The bundling of notifications thanks to a new API will allow more control on the part of developers while customising notification messages as per user preference. Apart from all these, he new OS will also allow snoozing notifications as and when required.

Picture-in-picture streaming

This feature which was introduced with Android TV now is supposed to become a mainstay in Android O. Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode refers to a feature allowing you to run video or media in a separate window over another media window you are watching. This allows watching multiple videos at the same time. For instance, while running Netflix, a YouTube video can be opened separately on a smaller screen and can be accessed from the screen.

Auto filling-up of information

We are already acquainted with the auto-fill feature while filling certain fields of information in our browsers and our devices. The device or browser cache memory helps us filling up information automatically in the blank fields. Now, Android O allows this feature even in apps. With this new and enhanced OS features, every information field about browsers, device and apps can be filled up more effortlessly.

App icons & badges becoming more adaptive

The new Android OS will also have some serious enhancements regarding app icons and badges. Thanks to the new adaptive icons and badges offered by the Android O the user can easily see the number of notifications on the app icon within a bubble just as it used to happen with iOS. Similarly, just like the iOS, the clock icon will always show the current time, and the date icon will show the exact date.

More dynamic navigation with keyboard

This is the feature that we have come across already in Android Nougat, and now the same feature will be better and richer when unleashed with Android O. The new OS will allow navigating with swipes and gestures while using the keyboard more easily.

Android O emoji

For most Android users typically robot looking emojis are already boring and expressionless. Keeping the fun involved with the use of emojis in apps, Google this time offered a whole new contingent of emojis for Android O. The new OS is also supposed to render full support for Emoji 5.0.

Downloadable fonts

Developers who were never happy with the limited availability of fonts and mostly needed to remain contented with few font options can now chuckle at the opportunity of downloading fonts and using them. This will allow a lot of design manoeuvres with custom typefaces in apps.

Android Go

Users who used to miss a lot of fun and apps compared to the advanced devices no longer need to worry thanks to Android Go which is an initiative to render equal user experience on budget devices as well. This will also allow developers offer a similar user experience to the users of devices with 1GB of RAM or less.

To conclude,

Are these all? Certainly not, there are several minor enhancements in the new OS that in the overall measure can add substantial value to the user experience as a whole. For example, the new OS will be more capable of ensuring high definition, low latency audio. At the same time, the new OS is also supposed to make apps and visual display more colourful with a richer gamut of colours.

Author bio

Keval Padia is a co-founder of Nimblechapps, a prominent android game development company based in India. He follows different tech blogs and current updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.

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