Google finally announced the 8th version of Android. Android O is now officially Android Oreo preceded by Android Nougat. The all new Android Oreo of Google has entered for carrier testing in Pixel and Nexus devices. It will roll out widely to other devices very soon. Android Oreo includes all the features that were promised at the Google I/O such as Picture-in-Picture, notification improvements, scanning of all the apps in Google Play, Autofill tool that fills the personal information and passwords quickly and securely and etc. Let’s take a closer look at the prominent features that you can expect from this latest version of Android.
Android 8.0 “Oreo” is the newest version of the Android mobile operating system. It was first released as an alpha quality developer preview in March 2017 and released to the public on August 21, 2017.It contains a number of major features, including notification grouping, picture-in-picture support for video, performance improvements and battery usage optimization, and support for auto fillers, Bluetooth 5, system-level integration with VoIP apps, wide color gamuts, and WiFi Aware. Android Oreo also introduces two major platform features: Android Go – a software distribution of the operating system for low-end devices – and support for implementing a hardware abstraction layer.
Android Oreo was internally codenamed “Oatmeal Cookie.” On March 21, 2017, Google released the first developer preview of Android “O”, available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and both Pixel smartphones. The second, considered beta quality, was released May 17, 2017. The third developer preview was released on June 8, 2017 and offered a finalized version of the API. DP3 finalized the release’s API to API level 26, changed the camera UI, reverted the Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity levels in the status bar back to Wi-Fi left, added themed notifications, added a battery animation in Settings: Battery, a new icon and darker background for the Clock app, and a teardrop icon shape for apps.
On July 24, 2017, a fourth developer preview was released which included the final system behaviors and the latest bug fixes and optimizations. Android “O” was officially released on August 21, 2017 under the name “Oreo”. Its lawn statue was unveiled at a promotional event across from Chelsea Market in New York City a building which formerly housed a Nabisco factory where Oreo cookies were first produced. Factory images were made available for compatible Pixel and Nexus devices later that day. The Sony Xperia XZ1 was the first device available with Oreo pre installed.Android 8.1 was released in December 2017 for Pixel and Nexus devices, which features minor bug fixes and user interface changes.Notifications can be snoozed, and batched into topic-based groups known as “channels”. Android Oreo contains integrated support for picture-in-picture modes. The “Settings” app features a new design, with a white theme and deeper categorization of different settings, while its ringtone, alarm and notification sound settings now contain an option for adding custom sounds to the list.
The Android 8.1 update supports the display of battery percentages for connected Bluetooth devices, makes the notification shade slightly translucent, and dims the on-screen navigation keys in order to reduce the possibility of burn-in.Android Oreo adds support for Neighborhood Aware Networking for Wi-Fi based on Wi-Fi Aware, Bluetooth 5, wide color gamuts in apps,an API for autofillers, multiprocess and Google Safe Browsing support for WebViews, an API to allow system-level integration for VoIP apps, and launching activities on remote displays. Android Runtime features performance improvements and better cache handling. Android Oreo 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 Oreo supports new emoji that were included in the Unicode 10 standard. A new emoji font was also introduced, which notably redesigns its face figures to use a traditional circular shape, as opposed to the “blob” design that was introduced on KitKat.
The underlying architecture of Android was revised so that low-level, vendor-specific code for supporting a device’s hardware can be separated from the Android OS framework using a hardware abstraction layer known as the “vendor interface”. Vendor interfaces must be made forward compatible with future versions of Android; this theoretically allows the quicker development and deployment of Android updates for devices, as vendors would only need to make the necessary modifications to their bundled software. All devices shipping with Oreo must support a vendor interface, but this feature is optional for devices being updated to Oreo from an earlier version. The “seamless updates” system introduced in Android 7.0 was also modified to download update files directly to the system partition, rather than requiring them to be downloaded to the user partition first. This reduces storage space requirements for system updates.
Android Oreo introduces a new automatic repair system known as “Rescue Party”; if the operating system detects that core system components are persistently crashing during startup, it will automatically perform a series of escalating repair steps. If all automatic repair steps are exhausted, the device will reboot into recovery mode and offer to perform a factory reset.The Android 8.1 update also introduces a neural network API, which is designed to apps with hardware acceleration for on-device machine learning operations.” This API is designed for use with machine learning platforms such as TensorFlow Lite, and specialized co-processors such as the Pixel Visual Core, but it also provides a CPU fallback mode.
The much-awaited picture-in-picture feature is here. It allows the user to perform multiple tasks. For example, you can check your email while video calling your friends by opening two apps simultaneously. This would look cool for phones with large screens. You need to enable this feature manually. Firstly, unhide the System UI Tuner in the settings. Hold the setting gear icon on the toggle bar to unhide the System UI Tuner. Now go to Settings-> System Settings-> System UI Tuner->Picture in Picture and then enable it.
Battery life is one of the most common smartphone related issues. With the Android Oreo, Google has tried to limit the battery consumption by controlling how apps run in the background for better overall system performance. It also limits the frequency of location updates in the background. For example, an app which requires the current location can collect the location information only when it is brought to the foreground and it can’t access the location information when it is background. Such features can improve the battery performance to a large extent.
With this feature, you can quickly identify the apps with new notifications and view them without opening the app. You will see a little dot over the app if you have any pending notifications to view. You can clear the notification by swiping away after viewing it. Even though iPhones have this feature already, now it is not limited to just iOS because now all the android users can use this feature.
This feature helps to snooze the notifications i.e, you can hide the notifications for a specific period of time which is similar to inbox snoozing. For example, whenever you get an important notification while you are busy but you don’t want to miss the notification then you can choose to snooze it by swiping it right. Then tap the clock icon and choose a time for the notification to snooze such as 15 min or 30 min or 1 hour according to your schedule. After that specific time, the notification will snooze.
Smart Text Selection
Smart Text Selection feature detects a particular text using machine learning and suggests an action based on the content of the text. For example, if you select a phone number you get an option of dial along with copy and cut option so that you can dial that number without the need of opening the dial pad and typing the number there. In case if you select an address then it suggests “maps” which will navigate you to Maps. This feature can save a lot of time.
The all new Android Oreo connects you to high-quality wi-fi automatically and secures it with VPN(Virtual Private Network) back to google. Generally, you turn off the wi-fi on your phone when you are away from your home network and you do not know when you are present in a network with secure open wif-fi or a network that is similar to the home network. To avoid such situations the Wi-Fi assistance feature helps you by automatically turning on the wi-fi and connecting to that particular network.
Google Play Protect
The Google play scans all the apps on your phone and almost 50 billion apps that are not installed on your phone per day. All this is done in the background and provides protection for your mobile from the malicious apps. You can find the apps that are scanned in the settings under the security section. This also gives data on how often the apps are scanned and the time of the last scan.