Android O is the code name for the upcoming Android mobile operating system and its version is 8.0. It is now available for beta program phones and releases for the developer preview also.
Google released the public beta of Android Operating System and it is compatible with Nexus and Pixel phones. Android has a lot of features and its first public appearance at Google I/O 2017 Developer’s Conference. You can enrol Android Beta Program to try its features.
Android O Release Schedule
Google has shared the time lime for the Android 8.0 operating system release. It was scheduled to release on late July 2017. The public version of Android 8.0 will be out for supported Pixel, Nexus devices sometime in Q3, most likely in late August or early September 2017.
Android O Features
This feature allows apps to automatically fill the usernames to make signing into apps and services more efficient. The Auto-Fill feature needs to be coded in by the apps, but once installed, it will remember your usernames, and in some cases, your password, to quickly and easily jump into apps on your device.
Users can snooze the notifications instead of only dismissing them. Many custom launch users already know the notification icon on top of the home screen. Android 8.0 users will spot a small dots which will appear on the top of the screen for active notifications. When you long press the notification dot will display the notification information in the tiny pop-up window.
Better cache data management
Every app will have a cache data limit. When the system needs to free up memory, it will automatically delete the cached data from apps which have exceeded their limit.
Smart Text Selection
This feature will use machine learning to recognise commonly copied words (such as business names, phone numbers, URLs, etc.) and quickly copy them without having to select each letter or number of the selection. It is the basic text highlighting features. It uses Google AI to intelligently act on the words. For example, if you highlight a phone number you can just tap to dial. If you highlight an address a single tap will start navigation.
TensorFlow Lite is a new scaled-down version of Google’s machine learning tool, Tensor Flow. The new tool assists lower powered devices. TensorFlow Lite uses techniques like LSTM to improve your experience. It has a new framework for Android, it will hardware accelerate neural network features, helping keep some of the AI components on the device, avoiding the need to find an online server to compute things like actions on text selections. Watch for these features in a later update to Android 8.0.
Accessibility has some new features including better volume control and new shortcut method. Over the years, Android has built up a decent array of accessibility options to help make devices easier to use. Google added a couple of new accessibility features. Namely, separate volume controls and a new way to use the accessibility shortcut.
Google Play Protect
This is Google’s way of protection.This OS will include a real-time security scanner that will scan all apps that come from the Google Play Store.It will protect Android users from malicious software and data theft.
Google Play Console Dashboards:
This feature is mainly for developers only. It will display performance issues (such as battery drain, crashes, interface problems, etc.) to help developers resolve problems with their newly developed apps. It will benefit all Android users because app problems will be resolved faster. Developers will be able to see live results of their app running on any Android device – this may not eliminate the need for developers to test their app on most major phones, but it certainly will help them. Best of all, the in-depth tools provide insight on how devs can adjust their applications to reduce battery consumption and speed up execution on various devices.
It finally adds support for app badges. They’re the little number bubble that shows up on an app icon to show you your unread notification count.You’ll have complete control over these at the flick of a toggle in the individual app notification settings.
The Settings menu is where most of the visual changes look to be taking place in the Android 8.0 release. For starters there’s a new colour scheme: both the Pixels and Nexus devices get a black and white approach but you’ll still see their individual blue tones used here and there.
The Settings menu itself has received a bit of a reshuffle as well. The slide-out navigation drawer and hamburger menu icon have both been removed in this developer preview.
The lock screen looks the same as in Android Nougat but you have options buried in the System. Rather than the shortcuts in the bottom left and right corners for voice assist and the camera, you can change the settings. The list of options is absolutely huge, making us think it’s a definite Android 8.0 feature.
Google did some changes in Ambient Display also.While this is more than likely just a developer preview issue, most of the time Ambient Display will only display the clock and some tiny app icons for any notifications waiting for you. With some app notifications, however, like Hangouts, for example, you’ll see more information displayed, but only when the notification first comes in.
Sony donated their LDAC CODEC to Google for inclusion in Android 8.0. That means if you have LDAC-equipped Bluetooth headphones you’ll get much better quality in Android 8.0. But the fun isn’t just restricted to LDAC, OS also has support for aptX and aptX HD as well as SBC and AAC. There are also settings for audio sample rates and bits per sample too, plus it adds a native AAudio API for apps that require high fidelity, low latency audio.
Adding apps from anywhere outside Google Play store typically required you to choose the security settings and enable Unknown Sources. But in Android 8.0 things were different. You’ll now also have to grant permission to the app you’re using to download the APK.
For example, if you want to download an APK via Chrome, you’ll first be prompted to give Chrome permission to install other apps via the “trust apps from this source” toggle in the special access section of the apps and notifications setting. You only need to do this once per app however and you can always revoke permission at a later date.
Background process limits
Google has been optimising Android more and more lately to limit the amount of battery drain and resource use that apps are allowed to do in the background. As we’ve seen a lot lately, advanced users will have control over exceptions to these rules, but by and large, Android 8.0 will severely limit background processes to intermittent windows of activity controlled by the job scheduler.
Google Play Music
Version 7.9 of Google Play Music has started to roll out with support for notification channels in Android 8.0. Meanwhile, all devices will benefit from the addition of a new way to quickly view search history.
In Settings, there is a new called “Manage Play Music history”. This shortcut helps to open a Chrome Custom Tab to the My Activity page. It shows past searches for songs, albums, and artists made through the mobile or web app.
As spotted by Android Police, version 7.9 adds support for notification channels in Android 8.0. By heading to the system Notification pane for Play Music, users can enable/disable the following categories: Account issues/updates, Content Updates, Downloads, Playback, and Purchase updates.
Turning off the Playback category will remove controls from the notification centre and could be ideal for someone who primarily interacts with Play Music through its widget. However, given the new themed media notifications, those on might want to keep them around.
Version 7.9 is rolling out now via the Play Store.
How to Get the Android 8.0 Beta
The preview will support the following phones and tablets:
Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player.
You can simply visit the Android O Beta website to enrol the program.
- Head to Android Beta program portal on your Pixel or Nexus phone or tablet.
- Sign into the Google account associated with that phone.
- Scroll down to Your eligible devices.
- Find the device you want to enrol in the Beta program and tap Enrol device.
- Follow the prompts to accept the over-the-air download.
When is Android 8.0 available?
It is still in developer preview release mode and will reach the fourth release near the end of June 2017.
Here’s the schedule for when other devices will get Android 8.0.
- OnePlus 3/3T: December 2017
- HTC 10: 4th Quarter of 2017
- Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus: March 2017
- LG V20, G6, and G5: 4th Quarter of 2017
- Motorola Moto G5 and G5 Plus: August 2017
- G4 and G4 Plus: September 2017
- Motorola Moto Z-Droid: August 2017
- Motorola Moto: August 2017
- Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: December 2017
- Xiaomi Mi Mix: December 2017
- Huawei Mate 8: November 2017
- Huawei Nova: December 2017
- Lenovo ZUK Z1 and Z2: February 2018
- Lenovo Vibe X3: February 2018