Google’s next Android version, Android O, is now official. The factory images for developer preview are already online and can be flashed by anyone with a spare Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or Nexus Player. We say ‘spare’ because flashing the initial developer preview build on your primary device is something you should strictly avoid.
Anyways, this is perhaps the most exciting time of the year in Android land and without further ado, let’s discuss the latest Android O features in the pipeline.
Limiting Background Data/Services
Amongst the foremost things that the newest version of Android does, is restricting the background activities of the apps on your phone to conserve battery life (yay). Android O will impose a limit on the number of things Apps are allowed to do in the background.
The Android O has automatic restrictions on background apps, implicit broadcasting as well as updates in location.
Classification of Notifications in groups
With the advent of Android O, you get to group together similar notifications according to their type and control how they pop up on a per channel basis.
Basically, you get to toy with the persistence and well as the way(s) with which the channel notifies you.
Picture in Picture Mode
With Android O, the picture-in-picture mode that debuted with Android TVs will make it to your smartphones. Which means, while watching a video, you will be able to hit back button to reduce the video to a small floating window while you check other stuff. Pretty much as it happens within YouTube app as of now.
Taking the same mutliprocess mode for the WebView components that were there in Nougat, the newest Android additionally adds an API so that the developers themselves are able to assess their own follies.
This facilitates the making of apps that are more secured and stable, thereby benefiting the users if Google’s Safe Browsing is used (should the developers opt for that for remote URLs).
Connectivity aspects also see a sea of change with the arrival of the now latest Android version. Most notable amongst them are:
- High-quality Bluetooth audio through the Sony LDAC codec, that will enable songs to sound even better through Bluetooth connections.
- NAN (Neighborhood Aware Networking) connectivity with the use of the Wi-Fi Aware specification, meaning the devices with supported hardware would be able to communicate with each other using Wi-Fi even without the presence of a central access point.
- The Telecom framework introduces new avenues for third-party calling apps to work with each other and with some carriers’ special features. New APIs would now support apps that don’t need the use of the universal system phone application for displaying information related to calling and this data can now be displayed and controlled via Bluetooth.
The Android O also supports (system-wide as well as natively) the new adaptive icons that the Google Pixel Launcher first introduced.
Which means that you can animate icons through the options given for different shaped masks on their outside border. These Adaptive Icons will be supported by in the launcher, shortcuts, device Settings, sharing dialogs, and the app overview screen.