A developer preview of Android O, the latest Android operating system, has been released to developers and it showcases several improvements.
In 2016, Nougat was introduced and as at now, only about 3% of Android handsets are running on this platform.
This does not, however, deter Google from getting back to business and developing the next version of Android.
We are yet to know what the ‘O’ stands for but in a tweet, the Senior VP for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer dropped a hint.
Lockheimer posted a GIF of an Oreo cake and people have been speculating that the new version could be named Android Oreo.
This just seems like tactful baiting since, in the past, we have been duped into guessing wrong.
Last year, for instance, we had been led to believe that Android v7.0 would be named Nutella but that was not to be.
Thus, we should not take Lockheimer’s teaser and run with it to the bus.
Android O is set to go through several tests by developers and those on Android’s beta scheme.
Google has not announced the official launch date but we can at least report on what we can expect.
The new Android version will automatically limit what an app can do when it is open in the background.
What this means is that if an application is open but not in use, it will have minimal impact on the battery power.
Android O will enable users to manage the notifications they see.
This OS will come with a unified system so that it will now be possible to set notification priorities through an entire channel.
This means that you will now be able to set notification channels for each conversation group.
Notifications will now be grouped together by their type and users can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, instead of managing all app notifications together.
New autofill APIs
Android O will allow users to select an auto fill manager so that they can store different types of sensitive information in whatever manager they want.
Also, developers will be able to implement autofill APIs directly into their apps.
This will ensure that the correct boxes are filled with the data users want. In short, you will save time currently taken up filling out forms.
Font Resources in XML
Fonts will be fully supported resource types in the new platform.
This means that apps developers can now use fonts in XML layouts in addition to defining font families in XML.
Developers will now have more control over the fonts and styles they use. This also means that apps can now come in custom fonts.
Picture in Picture (PIP) and new windowing features
PIP display will not be available on phones and tablets. You will now continue watching a video while answering a chat.
With Android O, apps can put themselves in PiP mode from the resumed or paused state where the system supports it.
The new app overlay window is the other new feature. This will replace the system alert window.
This platform will also support multi-display support that will allow you to launch an activity on a remote display.
With the new platform, developers will also be able to create adaptive icons.
This means that app icons displayed in different shapes subject to the mask selected by your phone. It will also be possible to animate the icons.
The improvements made to Android are definitely exciting. It is, however, important to note that the listed are just highlights.
To learn more, visit Android Visitors Blog.