Google announced Android O (mg)- Developer Preview available now

If you are an androider or a technology enthusiast, we all know Apple gets all the attention, but Android remains the world’s biggest operating system. Just one day after the second beta version of Android 7.1.2 Nougat arrived for Pixel and Nexus devices, Google has yet another surprise for all of us. The company has just announced its next version of Android, and that name, unsurprisingly, is Android O. Of course, this won’t be the final name of the next version of Android, but for now, it’s just Android O. Before I update you about Android O, let me just revise the earlier Android version and it’s namesake. From Android Cupcake, google is following incremental alphabets to define it’s latest OS name. Have a look at the earlier OS:

Version Date API
(known as “Petit Four” internally) 1.1 February 9, 2009 2
Cupcake 1.5 April 27, 2009 3
Donut 1.6 September 15, 2009 4
Eclair 2.0 – 2.1 October 26, 2009 5 – 7
Froyo 2.2 – 2.2.3 May 20, 2010 8
Gingerbread 2.3 – 2.3.7 December 6, 2010 9 – 10
Honeycomb 3.0 – 3.2.6 February 22, 2011 11 – 13
Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 – 4.0.4 October 18, 2011 14 – 15
Jelly Bean 4.1 – 4.3.1 July 9, 2012 16 – 18
KitKat 4.4 – 4.4.4 October 31, 2013 19
Lollipop 5.0 – 5.1.1 November 12, 2014 21 – 22
Marshmallow 6.0 – 6.0.1 October 5, 2015 23
Nougat 7.0 – 7.1.1 August 22, 2016 24 – 25

Now, let’s talk about latest announced OS version. So,

What is Android O?

The next version of Android OS, some of the important updates to improve the power and performance optimizations and many new ways to extend your apps.

As was the case last year with the first Android N Developer Preview, Google isn’t letting us know everything that will be included with Android O. We’ll learn more and more about the new version of Android in the weeks leading up to Google I/O 2017. But for now, let’s talk about what’s available in this first preview.

One of the biggest changes in Android O is background limits, which will help your smartphone save more battery life than ever before. Basically, Google is putting additional automatic limits on what apps can and can’t do in the background, in three areas: implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates. Since these background limits represent a big change in the way Android works, developers should start getting to know them. You can check out the official documentation here and here.Figure 1. The screen on the right shows inline controls for notifications in Android O.Now for a more visually appealing change. Android O introduces notification channels, which are app-defined categories for notification content. These channels let developers give users fine-tuned control over different types of notifications. Users can block or change the behaviour of each channel individually, rather than put an end on a certain app’s notifications altogether. As you can see in the screenshots attached above, Android O also brings new visuals and grouping to these notifications. On the left, you’ll see how Android Nougat’s notifications work, and the image on the right shows off Android O’s notifications.Android O also brings new Autofill APIs that will make setting up new apps and placing transactions easier. Users will be able to select an autofill app, similar to how you can select a keyboard app. The autofill app will store and secure user data, such as addresses, names, passwords, etc.Android O also brings a new feature that was previously only available on Android TV devices: Picture in Picture (PIP) mode. With PIP, users will be able to continue watching a video while navigating around through other applications. This is a super handy feature, and one that should be welcomed by most Android users out there.Adaptive launcher icons are also new in Android O, which can display different shapes across different devices. For example, a launcher icon can be displayed in a circular shape on one device, and be displayed in a square shape on another. Each smartphone maker provides a mask, which the system then uses to render all icons with that shape. The new icons will also be used in shortcuts, the Settings app, sharing dialogs and in the overview screen.This one should make the audiophiles happy – Android O now supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs such as LDAC codec. Plus, there’s a new native AAudio API that’s designed specifically for apps that require high-performance, low-latency audio.New Wi-Fi features are coming as well, like Wi-Fi Aware. Basically, apps and nearby devices can discover and communicate over Wi-Fi without an internet access point.Android O also adds better support for keyboard navigation, particularly when it comes to apps on Chrome OS. Google focused on building a more reliable model for “arrow” and “tab” navigation that aids both developers and users.Those are the biggest changes present in Android O, but as you might expect, there’s much more to it than that. You can check out all the salient features:Autofill APIs, which will make it easier for password managers to register themselves as the official autofill app for punching in your oft-entered yet still-sensitive information into other appsSupport for fonts as full Android resources, so they can be used and defined more simply in XML layouts.“Wide-gamut color for apps,” so that they can take full advantage of the stupid-good screens on flagship phonesA “telecom framework” so third-party VOIP apps can act like first-class phone apps as far as the OS is concernedWebView (the thing that lets apps use the Chrome rendering engine to display web content) is going to work a little more smoothly because apps will have “multiprocess mode” enabled by default and handle crashes themselves. They can also use Google’s Safe Browsing verification to ensure users aren’t caught on phishing sites.New Java stuff, including “Java 8 APIs and runtime optimizations” and “the new java.time API.” Google also claims the “Android Runtime,” the code behind the code that runs your apps, will be “faster than ever before, with improvements of up to 2x on some application benchmarks.”Something called “Network Aware Networking,” which should allow Android devices to communicate directly with each other over Wi-Fi, even if the network isn’t connected to the internetSo, this is all great, but when can you get your hands on Android O? Since this is a very, very early version of O, Google isn’t rolling this one out to devices in the Android Beta Program. You’ll have to manually download and flash the updates if you want an early look at the new version. With that said, images are now available at this link for the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player and Pixel C. Google does say that O will come to the Android Beta Program as we near the final product, though, so there is hope if you’re not keen on flashing any new images to your device.

You may also like to check out the latest best mac apps and utilities 2017.

What are your thoughts on Android O? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

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