After a months-long Developer Preview, Google has unveiled the final version of its next operating system: Android 8.0 Oreo. Along with a new name, the OS will bring a whole host of new features to mobile devices. It’s still early days, but we’ve already got a long list of what to expect once the update arrives.
Picture-in-Picture mode means you’ll be able to pop a video screen (such as YouTube or a video chat) out of its application and into a smaller panel on your screen, allowing you to complete other actions on your phone while keeping one eye on the video.
Google is introducing notification dots to apps in Oreo, allowing you to quickly see what’s happening without having to open up the app. Notification dots will now appear above apps that have pending notifications, and a long tap on a dot will provide contextual menu actions you can carry out in a single tap.
They work in a similar way to Apple’s 3D Touch enabled bubble pop-ups, and give you details about the notifications you have.
Double the Speed
Google’s done a whole load of work under the hood to make Android 8 the fastest iteration of its mobile platform ever.
In fact, Google claims that Android Oreo will be able to load apps and boot up at up to twice the speed of Android Nougat – which should result in much slicker operation.
We’re especially hopefully this enhancement will improve performance on cheaper devices too, potentially giving them a new lease of life.
Improved Battery Performance
“Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android Oreo puts a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance,” Android says on its developer blog.
The software limits the activity of apps running in the background, focusing on location updates, broadcasts and background services, reducing the amount of power and memory they use up which should help your phone last longer.
On to the important things – new emoji! Historically, Android has fallen behind that of Apple’s iOS when it comes to presenting users with the freshest emoji. With Android Oreo, Google has officially adopted new emoji: they’re circular, and they’re shaped and shaded to give more consistent depth, size and expression, with over 60 new emoji in total that more closely resemble the ones you get on iOS.
Adaptive App Icons
Android doesn’t have the strenuous rules about icon shape, size, and shading that other platforms do. This year, Google is rolling out Adaptive Icons, a new two-layer icon pack standard that should make it easier for app drawers to find consistency while also offering quirky abilities like simple animations.
Google is using its machine learning in more ways in Oreo, and one of those areas is also one of the simplest functions. Copy & paste is about to get smart.
Highlight a phone number and Android Oreo will suggest the Phone app, select an email address and it’ll offer up a link to Gmail, and street addresses can provide you with a quick link to Google Maps.
Let’s face it, what you really want to know is when Android Oreo will land on your Android device – and that all depends on the device you have.
Google will begin to push the update out on August 21, and those of you with a Pixel or Nexus phone can expect an almost instant update to appear in your notification bar once Android Oreo is officially released. Those with Android devices from the likes of Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei, Honor, OnePlus, and Motorola will likely have several weeks – if not months – before your respective manufacturer gets their software in order. Google says the majority of its Android partners should have updates out before the end of 2017.