Android fans, Google has announced the first developer preview of its yet to come Android ‘O’ platform. The company is now readying to launch the next version of its mobile operating system and towards the same, it is giving developers a chance to take an early look at what’s next. Folks who were hoping for an Oreo from Google will have to wait a bit longer though, as the company is not forthcoming with the name of the next iteration of the Android platform just yet.
It does not seem like ‘O’ is ready though. With Android Nougat, Google has made the previews immediately available to anyone who was interested in them, What’s more, anyone could have downloaded the previews and used them on their devices. What’s more, the builds were quite stable as well. This time around though, only developers in possession of a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL or Pixel C device or a emulator will be able to get in on the fun. And that too if they manually download and flash their devices.
Google is expected to go for a wider roll out for the platform later, through the Android Beta program. The company refrained from opening enrollment through Android Beta right away because it wanted to receive some feedback from the first batch of testers before it went to the whole hog.
Okay, so without further ado. Let’s take a look at what we have gleaned so far.
First up is an interesting feature associated with notifications that will allow users to group clumps of the same type all together. So basically, users can opt to get only notifications regarding sports, or politics from those provided by a popular newspaper. This is basically Google giving some extra power to users.
Android O is also introducing a “Picture in Picture” mode that will allow users to continue watching videos in a small box even after they have switched to a different tab. The system is very similar to what YouTube does when users go back while watching a video. To be honest, this feature is one of my personal favorites as it will let me continue watching Game of Thrones even while chatting with buddies.
Next up is the multi-display support that will let developers launch stuff on remote displays. Google is also making it easier for developers to support greater keyboard navigation inside their applications. Google says it is doing this because of the fact that it is seeing a resurgence of keyboard navigation use within Android apps.
You can also expect a significantly improved battery life as Google puts checks upon what app app can or can not do while it is in the background. The company hopes to achieve this by imposing limits upon three different areas of usage including implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates.
Android O is also bringing along a couple of all new Wi-Fi features. So basically, there would be stuff like Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN), that makes it easy for apps and devices to talk to each other without an Internet access point in the middle.
Finally, developers will gain greater control over calls and will be able to build their own user interfaces for placing calls. There are also going to be new native APIs, better codecs and other tweaks that are likely to make themselves felt during the course of your usage. We can expect the company to come up with more details in the near future and considering that this preview while exciting, wasn’t really what you would call stupendous — expect some more surprises with the Android O platform. And yeah, let’s keep our fingers crossed for Oreo.
Also check: Around Android – It is the online destination for resources about smartphone, especially Android.