Android Oreo is officially launched and Android devices are about to learn some new tricks. Google has unveiled the next version of Android, now known as Android Oreo, and gave us additional details on when we can expect to get the updated version of Android.
The new software – Android O aka Oreo aka 8.0 😛 comes with a range of new features, and the key ones are said to be — picture-in-picture and Autofill. Alongside these features, Android O also brings along stronger security protections and speed improvements which are said to “keep you safe and moving at light speed”.
8 New Features In Android Oreo 8.0
Picture In Picture Mode
Android 8.0 (API level 26) allows activities to launch in picture-in-picture (PIP) mode. PIP is a special type of multi-window mode mostly used for video playback. PIP mode is already available for Android TV; Android 8.0 makes the feature available on other Android devices.
You’ll be able to take that YouTube video or your video call as you switch from app to app, as Android Oreo will offer picture-in-picture (PiP) support throughout the OS. iOS users already enjoy picture-in-picture support, but only on the iPad.
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This feature will be all over Android devices as they get their Oreo updates, and users will activate it by simply hitting the home button while watching a video. PiP videos can be dismissed by simply swiping the clip away.
Notification Channels And dots
Google also plans to group notifications into channels, giving users greater control over their app notification categories. Explaining the move, Google writes: “Users can block or change the behaviour of each channel individually, rather than managing all of the apps’ notifications together.”
Google is also making it possible to snooze individual notifications, which is seriously useful given the persistence of some Android system notifications. You’ll be able to snooze notifications for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or one whole hour.
Another new feature will be notification dots, which are visual indicators on app icons that’ll show if you have any waiting notifications. This is a feature that iPhone users will be familiar with, as it’s been part of Apple’s iOS software for years.
New emojis, Goodbye Blobs
Love or hate ‘em, the blob people are gone. Google gives you rounder emojis in Android Oreo that are more akin to what you’ll find on iOS.
Several of the emojis that illustrate different objects have also been tweaked, so you’ll have numerous choices to explore the next time you want to say what you need with more than words. Google promises 60 new emojis in Oreo.
Better copy and paste
If you’re like me, you quietly put up with copy and paste on mobile because there’s no other choice. Selecting a phone number, email address or phrase doesn’t always work perfectly, and you spend time fidgeting with the selection bars in the right place.
With Android Oreo, you just long press or double-tap anywhere on the phrase to select a phone number, address, business, name or place.
It all links into Google’s database and your contact list. In addition to asking if you want to copy the selection, the system will suggest opening the dialer if you tap a number, Gmail if you tap an email handle and Maps if you select a street address.
Google is also hoping to save you some time, courtesy of Autofill APIs. This will allow your favourite password manager apps to work with the Android operating system, so you can access them just like you would a third-party keyboard.
Google explains: “Android users already depend on a range of password managers to auto-fill login details and repetitive information, which makes setting up new apps or placing transactions easier. Now we’re making this work more easily available across the ecosystem by adding platform support for auto-fill.”
Camera App Improvements
Google is spending some time reworking the camera app, offering a new double-tap feature that lets you quickly get to 50% zoom. There’s also a new dedicated button that lets you switch between photo and video modes; previously, users were forced to swipe, which some may have found unintuitive.
Google is also set to add Sony’s LDAC codec, which has been donated to Android by the Japanese tech giant. This should improve upon the Bluetooth A2DP protocol currently used today.
The company is also introducing AAudio, which should result in improved low-latency audio. The firm says that it’s a “New native API that’s designed specifically for apps that require high-performance, low-latency audio”.
Improved Battery Life
Android Nougat, the previous version of Android, introduced enhanced doze feature. This feature made sure that all the background apps are monitored and those which are currently not in use are hibernated. Android Oreo, introduces a much better version of this feature.
Android Oreo will also limit the broadcasts, location updates and other background activities happening in your phone. For instance, if you turn on the Airplane mode your phone, previously all the apps will be notified about this change. But Android Oreo limits this to save your battery life.
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