Be Informed And Earn: Android O Developer Preview: Here is Everything You Need To know

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Android O Developer Preview: Here is Everything You Need To know

Google is already on the way of making public their next Android version will be version 8.0. Many talks and speculations are already going around regarding what name the next Android version will bear. As you know, Google has this tradition of naming the names of their Android versions alphabetically, based on the names of desserts and recipes. Talks are claiming that the next Android version will definitely be Android O, and will be named Oreo after a tweet by Google's Hiroshi Lockheimer went viral last month.

Still, on the next version of Android and what the name will be, it's been confirmed that the next Android version will be O, after Nougat 7.0 which started with letter N which was released on 1st July 2016 and is already ready for AndroidOne devices. Now, what the O in the next Android name will be named is unknown to many, except to Google themselves (if they have chosen a codename yet). 

But in the meantime, here is what Google wants us to know about the next Android version O, According to the developer's preview they released.

1.    Reduced Battery Consumption:    Google is very much concerned about how much power their products drain, so after their recent attempt to reduce chrome battery life consumption, they've decided to do more work in Android. So Android O will see that less battery is consumed while running on any smartphone.

In Android O, Google implemented automatic limits manager that handles any app(s) that attempts to consume resources in the background. Google does so by putting a boundary for background services, location updates, and implicit broadcasts.

2.    More Control Over You Are Notified For:    Android O notifications bar comes with a lot of new updates and modifications. The new notifications feature called Notification Channels, which will be seen starting from Android O will allow users to separate the notifications into different categories as defined by the app developers.

Android O Developer Preview

Users can now choose to block or allow being notified by any app or group of apps. Users can also determine how allowed apps notifies them, which sounds pay on notifications, or lights shown as well as vibration patterns. You can choose to make a particular notification from a particular channel as important and also have it display on your home screen.

Because of these new Android O notifications management feature called Notification Channels, developers that wish to make any app compatible with Android O is advised to define at least one or two channels in his/her app, else the notifications would act the same as on Android Nougat.

3.    Customized Icons:    With Android O, Google really did a number to icons, crafted some considerable changes to the pattern the icons of apps are displayed on Android. App icons displayed on custom launchers by device makers can sometimes look odd and don’t align with the overall look and feel. The adaptive icons feature allows Android to display icons in a more streamlined way so they can easily mix with the rest of the UI.

Android O Developer Preview
It does so by using a mask that has been set as default for a device by the manufacturer. An icon can take different shapes based on that mask. For instance, it can be a circle on one device and square on another.

4.    Picture - in -Picture (PiP):    Most people have little or no idea about the PiP, that's because it only arrived last year with Android Nougat and is limited to Android TV. Android O will feature PiP as a native feature to both phones and tablets that boots Android. It (PiP) allows users watch a video in a small window and do other stuff at the same time.

Support for multiple displays has also been added to Android which allows it to launch an activity on a remote display. A user will be able to switch an activity between multiple screens if the activity supports multi-window mode, though it is unclear how exactly it would work. All we can do is wait until Google I/O, where the company would share more light about Android 8.0.

5.    Improved Audio Quality:    This part will interest musicaholic, users whose phones are their DJ and smartphone at the same time. Android O will bring better audio sounds and effects. There will be support for LDAC, a Bluetooth audio codec, which will improve the quality of audio sounds when wirelessly streamed to Bluetooth-connected devices. 

6.    New Autofill APIs:    We all know what auto fills are, and how useful they can be, especially if you have lots of texts to type or repeated ones like address, phone numbers, email address, website address, etc. In Android O, Google added several new APIs to facilitate autofill, which means less work and stress while typing, though many Android users currently user third party apps to achieve their autofill needs.

7.    Improved Keyboard:    Not only adding several new APIs for autofill, which integrates with the Android system and the apps installed in it, Google also did some work on their keyboard, functionality, and appearances. This new improvement will be best experienced by Chromebook users who have difficulties navigation through apps. Google addressed these difficulties experienced by Chromebook users while navigating apps by adding the familiar “arrow” and “tab” navigation button to their keyboards. It’s a small step to improve Android app support in Chrome OS.

8.    Connect Easily With WiFi Aware:    Google's WI-Fi Aware is another interesting feature of Android O. it allows compatible users (Android devices) to easily connect when in the vicinity with Wi-Fi and share information. Interestingly, you neither needed internet connectivity nor defined Access Point to get connected, all you need is a compatible device and be within minimum reach. Those that use third party calling apps can maximize this new feature to suit their needs.

9.    Improved Display:    Apps can now display wide-color gamut on devices with capable displays, and this functionality can be leveraged by the developers building imaging apps. Android Nougat’s optional multiprocess WebView mode handles the web content in a separate process has been made default. Also, various benchmarks have recorded almost double increased in the quickness of the Android runtime environment.

10.    What Else?    From all the previous versions of Android to this new Android O, what do you think Google should either add or remove from it. Your views are needed and mostly welcomed.

Android O developer preview can be downloaded manually from Google Android Developer page and then flashed on selected devices which include Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Google Pixel C.

It is important not to forget that flashing a system image removes all data from the device, So make a backup your data before flashing.

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