Before a major android version is released, Google first pushes a preview version for developers to dip their feet in. This helps catch bugs and also familiarize the developer community on the new features. This enables them to create applications and content that takes advantage of the new additions. Android O is the next major update, Google names all its versions after a sugary dessert following the alphabetical order, the last one was N for Nougat, now we are at O. Majority of the people on the internet are hoping it will be called Oreo but we will have to wait and see. The factory image for the preview has already been released and here are some of the new features it comes with:
You can snooze a notification so that it will appear later when you are ready to respond to it.
Notifications of each app will be categorized into channels. You can choose which channels to mute and which to be alerted on. For instance, you can have your Facebook page notifications muted while leaving your post comment alerts active. So instead of muting an app’s notifications completely, you will have more control.
Customizable notification background colours
On-going tasks will have the ability to be programmed with unique colors similar to the green shade that Google Map navigation instructions have on the notification pull down. This feature will be available on critical on-going tasks only and not all notifications.
There will be limits to what apps can do in the background. This will lead to better battery life and performance. We hope that these limits will not impair the multitasking prowess synonymous with the android operating system.
You will be able to have a floating window showing videos on top of other apps, the same way that Youtube videos are condensed into a small movable window when you press the back button while streaming. This will be a system wide feature that developers can use on different tasks.
Other minor features include:
System wide auto-fill– forms within apps will be auto-filled with your information so you won’t have to type your information, such as username and email address, every now and then.
WIFI Aware- this will enable nearby devices to communicate via WIFI without the need for internet access, the same way that Xender, the famous file sharing app, operates.
Wider colour gamut will be supported for Android O targeted apps, a feature that will complement the HDR screens that are now becoming a trend in flagships
Telecom framework will let third party calling apps to communicate with your phone. The car dashboard call buttons will now work seamlessly with your Android O device.
Lastly, the android runtime will be two times faster than it was on Android 7.0.
The final version of Android O will be released to the masses in the third quarter of this year. For now, only developers can access this preview, they will need to have either a Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P or Nexus Player.