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Google released the second preview of Android O at the I/O conference. The ultimate release of Android O is rescheduled somewhere between August end or early September. The Android O release will become version Android 8.0

In Android O, Google has redesigned notifications for easier and consistent ways to manage notification settings. We have already seen the importance of notifications in the past and Google is going a step ahead with its notifications feature. Android O will represent notifications with a small dot that appears over the top with all active notifications.

A new app icon available with new tools. You can press the icon long enough to get a short list of the notifications for immediate view. It includes viewing the notifications right there in a pop up window. The long press function is not yet available in the Android preview released at Google I/O, however, it will be available in the future releases.

Some of the prominent changes are:-

Notifications:

  • Notification Channels: This feature helps the developer create a custom channel for each notification. You can choose which notifications to receive instead of receiving a dozen of them from Twitter.
  • Notification Badges: Android O supports notification badges on app launcher icons that depict the presence of notification for the app.
  • Snoozing: Users can snooze notifications to a later time. Snoozing would allow notifications to reappear later with the same level of importance for your convenience. You can choose the desired time to view the notifications, however, apps can update or remove these notifications but updating the snooze notifications will not remove it.
  • Notification timeouts: Developers can create a notification timeout with Notification.Builder.setTimeout().This method allows you to set a time limit on notifications after which they will be canceled.
  • Notification settings: You can filter the settings in order to change the display that appears in front of the users.
  • Notification dismissal: The system has the ability to distinguish between a notification dismissed by an app and a notification dismissed by the user. You can implement the new onNotificationRemoved() method for this purpose.
  • Background colors: You can set specific colors for different notifications based on priority. It has been added to specify the importance of a notification. For example, you can set a background color for notifications regarding your next meeting or a call in progress.

Picture in Picture: Google has added a Picture in Picture mode in Android O which is already available in many televisions. While watching a YouTube video, you can tap the home button and the video will move to a small pop in a small window. You can continue to navigate through other apps on your device. You will be able to slide the video around and slide it off the screen to terminate.

Autofill Framework:

In order to avoid errors arising from filling details like card details and account information. The auto fill feature has to be coded into the app in order to remember usernames, card information and much more. It is especially helpful for most used apps on your device.

Vitals:

Android O will add some new features under Vitals which will include security tools, OS optimization, and tools for developers for improving device usage.

Navigation bar:

Android O brings a bunch of new feature to the navigation bar including a new layout option that lets you choose between normal, compact, left leaning or right leaning which is a benefit for large screen devices.

You can also add buttons to the traditional navigation bar at the bottom. You have an option to choose between clipboard, keycode or keyboard switcher.

Unknown sources:

Earlier, adding an app from anywhere outside was simply done by enabling unknown sources from the security settings. But in Android O, you will have to grant permission to the app you are using to download the APK.

Background process limits:

Google has been optimizing Android to limit the battery drain in the background while using an app.

Adaptive icons:

Adaptive icons is an attempt to make all the app icons consistent with each other. They provide multiple templates to developers for each icon to adapt to the device they appear on. So if the default app icon for a particular device is a rounded square then that is what will appear on that device. You will no longer see square icons mixed with the round icons.

Android O is basically following the footsteps of Nougat and completing the work started in Nougat. Android O further strengthens Android. Notifications and permission management is better than ever.

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