Android 8.0 has been in the public domain for long as a beta release. Google has officially named it Android Oreo and announced the release of the latest version of its OS. So, Android 8.0 Oreo is here!
What is Android 8.0 Oreo all about? What are its most interesting features? Let’s find out.
- Picture – in – Picture (PIP) Mode
Android Oreo enables you to multitask. With Picture-in-Picture mode, you will be able to message your friends while you watch a video. You will be able to miniaturize a video call, a video feed or a YouTube video to the corner of your screen and you would be able to carry on with other tasks simultaneously. So you could watch a video and search for something on Chrome at the same time.
- Notification Dots
Android Oreo equips the applications to show received notification alerts as a tiny dot on their icons. This feature is aimed at improving the way the notifications appear. It will also help the users get the message of the notification without actually opening and using the app. If you long press the app with notification dot you will see a notification window open with the details of the notification. It is a very handy feature. Users are provided options to turn the notification dots on or off as per their liking.
- Notification Snoozing
It is a pretty useful feature. If you are busy when a notification arrives and you want to make it go away for a little while you can do that with notification snoozing feature. It is very easy to snooze the notification. When you get notification in a notification panel you can slide it slightly to the left or right side. Slide it slowly or you will swipe away the notification. You will have timer on the screen. You can snooze the notification for anything from 15 minutes to an hour. After your set time is over the notification comes back with an alarm or vibration – as per your setting on your screen.
- Notification Channels
It also supports notification channels wherein the apps on your device send notifications to this one channel. Android O gives users a new way to organize and manage push notifications. Apps can group their notifications – into different categories for instance promotional, activity based, transactional etc. and give the user to see it when they want to see it in the way they want to see it (opt to get notified by sound or vibration).
It is a very useful option for brands with apps. If a user receives a particular push and longtaps the message to opt out, they will opt out of only that particular channel, the notification belonged to. A user can thus opt out of promotional push notifications while continuing to receive updates on their friend’s activities.
If you are an app developer think of adopting this new notification channel strategy for sending your push notifications. Eventually all Android apps will have channels.
- Smart Text Selection
Google has leveraged the power of its machine learning capacity into its smart text selection feature of Oreo. You can now select the whole address, email ID or a phone number with a tap. Google now knows what a complete address, complete ID and complete phone numbers look like. It will help you select the text smartly and will have a related contextual menu ready for you to take your next step which could be anything from searching the place on Google Maps or calling the person whose phone number has been selected. It basically adds content appropriate apps to the text.
Every new upgrade boasts about better performance but Android 8.0 truly delivers. Android Oreo is smoother and snappier. Apps open noticeably faster and the boot time of the device on Android Oreo significantly decreases. This upgrade is equipped with better cache management. If the system senses a slowdown Android Oreo automatically deletes the cached data to up the speed. There have been valuable additions like concurrent compacting garbage collection and code locality which boost the performance of the apps; the runtime of the OS also improves.
- Battery life
This upgrade enables the user to have a better control over the battery life. There has been a serious attempt by setting up background execution limits to control rogue app behaviour. Google with this update has tried to put an end to the ways of applications that hog up a lot of system resource. In simple words background apps will not be able to eat up available RAM and battery beyond a certain sensible limit. This will definitely give a boost to the battery life and improve performance.
In addition to that, Oreo helps your battery life by limiting how often any app asks for your location.
- Autofill API
You do not need Password Managers like LastPass on your phone now. It is easier to fill in your email ID, addresses, passwords etc with Android Oreo’s Autofill API. With Autofill API, applications have system wide access and thus can provide you with the information you need regularly pretty quickly. It saves a lot of time and effort.
- Redesigned New Emojis
Google has massively overhauled its set of emojis for Android Oreo. Longstanding gumdrop – blob emojis introduced with Android 4.4 have been officially killed off. About 70 new emojis have been introduced.
You can see the example of the changes an emoji went through from the period of 2012-2017. Some changes in emojis in Android Oreo are subtle some are more noticeable and detailed. Several experts say the designs look close to the designs available on an iOS emoji palette.
- Smarter WiFi
You would need to enable this section. On your Android Oreo phone, open Network & Internet section of your system settings. Go to WiFi and then to WiFi preferences on the next screen. Go to “Turn on WiFi automatically” and activate the toggle. This option will connect you to a trusted and previously connected WiFi every time you are close to it.
- Rescue Party
The Rescue Party feature present in Android Oreo automatically detects if your smartphone is running on bootloop and is facing some issues. Google says, “Android 8.0 includes a feature that sends out a “rescue party” when it notices core system components stuck in crash loops. Rescue Party then escalates through a series of actions to recover the device.”
If you unfortunately get the message “System UI has stopped” the rescue party will be on its way. Rescue party applies a series of fixes. Once it runs out of fixes to apply, the Rescue Party will prompt you to factory reset your phone – an effective cure for most bootloop cases.
Android Oreo can be downloaded for free on your phone if your phone is from Google’s stable: Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Pixel C tablet. For detailed information on when your phone would be upgraded to Oreo read this. If you are into Android App development, you should go through the details of Android Oreo given here.
And that will be all from my desk for now. Until next time, Adios.