Android O is the working title of an upcoming release of the Android mobile operating system. It was first released as a developer preview on March 21, 2017.
Android O Highlights
Google has done it again, releasing the Developer Preview of its next Android operating system. Ahead of its annual Google I/O developer’s conference. It released the first developer preview of Android O, available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Pixel smartphone devices. Google will release a total of four developer previews. With the second preview coming in May. And the third in June, and the fourth in July. With a final, official release scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.
The final version of Android N was released in August 2016 as Android Nougat. And we’re looking at a similar time frame in 2017 for the release of Android O,. For which we will hear more details at Google I/O on 17 May.
The Android O main features is Notifications can be snoozed. And batched into topic-based groups known as “Channels”. Android O contains integrated support for picture-in-picture modes.
Android “O” add support for “Network Aware Networking” for Wi-Fi,wide color gamuts in apps. An API for auto-fillers, multi-process and Google Safe Browsing support for Web Views. An API to allow system-level integration for VoIP apps, and launching activities on remote displays.
Android Run time (ART) features performance improvements. Android O contains additional limits on apps background activities in order to improve battery life. Apps can specify “adaptive icons” for differently-shaped containers specified by themes (such as circles, squares, and squircles).
Android O UK release date: August/September 2017 (TBC)
Google surprised us in 2016 by taking the wraps off the Developer Preview of Android Nougat in advance of its summer Google I/O conference. And in March 2017 it has done the same again with Android O. The final release of Android N came in August 2016 with little fanfare and no new hardware. So the chances are we’ll see the company follow that same format in 2017.
The new features coming to Android O
Notifications in Android O
Notifications have always been one of the perennial strong features of Android.In O, you can group your notifications into channels or as Google describes it “app-defined categories for notification content”. So if you had a channel of apps that are all “news” related, you could interact. And control notification settings for all the apps in the news channel at once. Also adjustable will be the background colors of notifications, and the messaging style.
Sometimes as wonderful as notifications are, you just need them to be quiet for a little while. Android O gives you the ability to snooze notifications simply by sliding your finger across a notification. And then selecting how long to snooze it for 15, 30 or 60 minutes.
In Android Nougat Google introduced the ability to restrict certain app activities in the background. And in Android O it improves on this by placing the priority on extending battery life without user-input.
Improved Auto-fill Framework
Users have to opt in to this service, but then find it easier to fill in login and credit-card information forms with fewer mistakes and much less repetition.
Picture-in-picture, which is already available on Android TV, is coming to Android O. This is mostly used for video playback.
While we’ve seen picture-in-picture video for the iPad, we’ve yet to see it fully functioning on a phone. Android O brings the ability to keep a video playing while interacting with another app. To what extent this feature is incorporated by video apps like Netflix and HBO Now remains to be seen.
Good news if you use a keyboard with an Android tablet. Android O gives better support for developers to make navigation. And shortcuts easier to use via a physical keyboard. Could this pave the way for Android laptops, and maybe Chromebooks.
Improving the battery life is one of the biggest and most welcomed features of Android O. Similar to iOS, Android O will limit and manage what apps do in the background while multiple apps are open.
This is one of those “behind the curtain” features that you’ll appreciate even if you can’t see exactly how it works. For example, if you are using Instagram. But have Google Maps open in the background, location services will update the location less frequently for Maps to keep it from draining your battery as fast.
Lock screen shortcuts
On the lock screen in Android Nougat there is a microphone icon for quick access to Google Assistant and a camera icon for quick access to take a picture. Android O allow you to customize your lock screen with even more shortcuts.
Auto fill system wide
If you use a password manager app, Android O gives you easy yet secure access to it across your device via auto fill. You able to select which password manager app. you want to take advantage of a system wide auto fill feature. This is similar to the way you can now select which keyboard to use across your apps on your phone.
What the heck is wide-gamut color? Exactly. While this feature might not mean much to you now, it’s really about future proofing. As displays improve with newer phones and tablets. your apps able to take full advantage of all the colors and their subtleties. Just imagine how amazing all your cat pics will look.
Hi-Fi Bluetooth audio
Your phone now able to wireless stream higher quality audio using Android O. Obviously, to fully hear the higher quality depends on the quality of the audio recording. And the speaker or headphone with which you’re listening to it. This is a big plus for any audiophiles out there.