Just a few days back, Google released the beta quality of Android O during its Google I/O conference. The Android O is a new operating system which will launch at the end of 2017, or so it is speculated to. On March 21st, 2017 the alpha quality was released, and both versions were made available to users owning Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus Player, and Pixel smartphone devices. Other Android devices will be able to experience the full version once it is officially launched.
The ‘O’ in Android O is thought to be for ‘Oreo’ as per the tradition of Android naming their OS after dessert names. This Android v. 8.0 will come with various new features including the TensorFlowLite, picture-in-picture mode, notification dots, wider gamut for apps and much more.
Android O: ALPHA QUALITY
The Notifications shade in the Android O now shows a strip of half a dozen toggles at the top. Both the font and the date are condensed and take up a lot less space on the display screen than the latter versions of the Android OS. It also features the WiFi icon and the battery icon in the notification shade now that it did not before. The icons themselves are largely unchanged with the bundled notifications and features such as bundled notifications still existing. Long-pressing on the notifications will now display new options to snooze them if you please. Android O will also allow you to receive or block specific notifications from an app and will let you choose how you want your notifications to arrive.
Perhaps the most exciting feature of the Android O is its new picture-in-picture feature. This feature will allow users to view their current tab simultaneously with other apps running shift. To understand it better, it’s like the picture-in-picture mode in the Youtube App. This new mode will have pause and play options as well. The picture-in-picture mode was not made available in the alpha quality however and was only revealed in March. It is available now in the Beta version though.
The lock screen is more or less the same as that of the Nougat v.7.1.1 but now you have the bonus options to shift your shortcuts around. Changes in the Ambient Display include the clock being displayed only with summarized notifications.
The Settings page is visibly different –It’s black and white. The options have changed too. Instead of general ones like “Device” and “Personal”, Android O has more specific sections labeled like “networks and internet”, “security and screen lock” etcetra. Most of the secondary options have been shifted to the Setting sub-section.
Furthermore, in Pixel devices there is an option to access the Night Light in the Settings menu whereas the Nexus does not cater to an option like that. The Setting Menu may have changed visually but the functions remain more or less the same.
The Navigation tool now lets you add additional buttons that you can move to left or right side the original navigation buttons. Android O also comes with the option to change the layout of the nav bar and can make it left or right-leaning, compact or just normal.
Wider Gamut Color
Wide-gamut color support in the Android O for apps will make your gaming experience much better. Google has been quoted to have said: “Android developers of imaging apps can now take advantage of new devices that have a wide-gamut color capable display. To display wide gamut images, apps will need to enable a flag in their manifest (per activity) and load bitmaps with an embedded wide color profile (AdobeRGB, Pro Photo RGB, DCI-P3, etc.)”.
Android has been on a mission to provide a better battery life and make the new operating system more energy-efficient. It will do this by limiting background processes that drain most of the phone battery.
One of the great new features of the Android O is its better Bluetooth audio support. Sony technology based LDAC Bluetooth headphones will let you experience high quality audio. Android O also has support for aptX and aptx HD for the more conventional users that still rely on wired earphones and speakers, with additional options to change the audio sampling rate and frequency.
Other changes in the Android O are also seen in the alpha quality like in the Do Not Disturb options, Autofill API, status bar, and adaptive icons
Android O: BETA QUALITY
On May 17th, 2017 the beta quality of the new Android OS was released on the same smartphone devices. Here are some new features we saw in this version of the Android O.
The TensorFlowLite is a tool that can greatly amp up multi-tasking and more a fluid smartphone experience overall. It uses techniques like LSTM to achieve faster functionality than the Nougat.
This never new feature on the Android O will allow users to quickly access their applications from notification dots that will appear on the top side of the screen. Users will gain quick access and long pressing the notifications will let them to choose between a variety of short-link actions they can perform. This option however was only introduced in the Google I/O conference and is not yet available in the beta version.
Smart Text Selection in the Android O is new and improved that now lets you highlight numbers and full phrases to get immediate calling or texting commands. According to sources, there have been changes to the emoji collection in the new Android operating system too.
Other changes in the new Android operating system were also revealed such as the AutoFill option, picture-in-picture mode, and a banner named Vitals for better performance of the smartphone device.
For Nexus and Pixel users, you can try out the latest beta version of the Android OS now through a simple installation process. We can see that the changes in the Android O may not be a lot in number but they definitely make the new operating system unique. New qualities or versions are scheduled to launch in June and July, and the official full version will be available in the consumer market by the end of this year.