On Tuesday, Google revealed the name of its latest version of the mobile operating system called Android Oreo. More like its previous version Nougat or Marshmallow before that, Android Oreo will also reach the existing users at a leisurely pace.
Google has already rolled out the new version to Google Pixel and the Pixel XL. Those already using the Android beta program and were running the 4th Beta got the new version hours after it was released.
The newest version of Google’s mobile operating system has a special hidden feature that might be one of the best features of Android O till date. It so happens that you won’t even know it’s there and it makes a world of difference, especially for all non-Pixel devices.
For all non-Pixel devices, it would be so cool to get instant Android updates. This is something that Google has been trying for a long time. They were finally able to crack it with the Project Treble that has been tucked into Oreo code. With this project, Google plans to help Android devices achieve faster updates than usual.
Google Android Project Manager, Sagar Kamdar confirmed that Google is working with several partners on Project Treble. Every new phone that is launched with Oreo will have this feature which means that these devices will be a lot easier to upgrade to the new Android releases.
The other improvements are characterized by two: new features and changes. Both these categories have seen some big, eye catching improvements and some small changes too.
Let’s start with some of the smaller improvements. First is the new picture in picture mode. While it is not a small improvement, the explanation is quite simple for these improvements. The Android Oreo allows activities to launch in picture in picture mode which is a type of multi window mode mostly used in video playback. It makes multitasking easier while you’re surfing through your mobile.
Secondly, a new Autofill framework has been introduced which has been designed to make filling out forms like credit card details and logins easier for the user. Developers can optimize their apps by providing hints to what a field should contain and mark which field is important.
At the same time, Android Oreo understands the users sharing preferences. For example- if you take a picture, Android Oreo will suggest some social media apps to post it. Android Oreo learns the each user’s patterns according to their personal preference to save time.
Android Oreo also solves a major problem for a large group of people who always have low storage on their phone by implementing a per app disk space quota for cached data. The system will automatically free up disk space by deleting cached files from apps when the quota exceeds.
Android Oreo supports WI-FI Aware or Neighbour Awareness Network which allows devices to connect to each other via WI-FI Aware. These networks are made of clusters of neighboring devices where apps have no control and it is managed by the WI-FI Aware system service. Any device with Android Oreo has the ability to find other devices in the vicinity and create bi-directional Wi-FI Aware network connection.
Android Oreo now supports multiple display support for non-mobile type devices. Suppose an app is running on a device that supports multiple displays then users can move their activity from one display to another. On the launch of an activity from an app, the app will specify which display the activity should run on.
Android users will be able to take advantage of features that are common to the desktop operating system but haven’t been needed on mobile until now. Like, game benefits like being able to control the mouse pointer. Pointer capture is a new feature on Android Oreo that provides control by providing all mouse events to a focused view on an app.
Some bigger Improvements in Android Oreo include Notifications. Notifications have received three major changes since Android Nougat. First, handling has improved with extra actions available. Second, the notification dots which appear on the app’s icon in the launcher to let the user know about their notifications. Third, notification channels have been added for users to manage notifications.
Another big change in Oreo is the way in which Android handles background tasks. These changes limit what background tasks can do in order to save battery life.
Next is the improvement to the Android audio system like support for additional Bluetooth codecs and changes in how Android handles audio focus. Adaptive launcher icons are another valuable change which will bring consistency to Android and the new support for downloadable fonts.