What’s new with Android O?


Google introduced Android O, last week and made the Developers Preview for download. The Developers Preview works at providing Google feedback on their new update, along with that it also gives developers time to tweak their apps for the new Android Update. At the moment the supported devices are Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Nexus Player. If you have any one of the devices, you can also test and see what got improved this time around. So, what new does Android O have to offer, let’s have a look at the different new features that we will get to see when Android O rolls out to our smartphones.

Background Limits for Apps

The new ecosystem will work on making the device more energy efficient, so that the apps running in the background do not drain all the battery power. So for that purpose Android O will put limits on what the apps can do in the background. The three areas that are targeted are: implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates. With this it would challenge developers to work on apps that do not drain the battery of the device.

 “The basic idea is that the system will automatically limit the active capabilities of background apps, in a way that won’t be detrimental to users while reducing overall resource use.”

Notifications Channels

With Android O, users will have more control over how they get notifications for different apps. This will gives users more control over how their notifications work. Users will be able to prioritize what type of notifications they can get first from an app. Along with that they can tinker with blocking ‘certain’ notifications, hence managing how things work out.

“Applications can create notification channels, which are categories that users can individually turn on and off. For example, Twitter could create separate channels for mentions, likes, follows, etc.”

Not only that users will also be able to snooze different notifications for 15 min, 30 min or eve an hour. This feature is available when users slide the notification. This would come in handy especially at times when we forget we have something important to look up to.

Picture in Picture Mode (PIP)

Picture in Picture Mode is now available on both smartphones and tablets. Users with Android O will be able to watch videos or continue with video calls while scrolling for content at the back. How this will work is that the video will shrink down into a floating window and the resume what they were doing.

Apps can put themselves in PiP mode from the resumed or a pausing state where the system supports it – and you can specify the aspect ratio and a set of custom interactions (such as play/pause).

Autofill API’s

Users make use of different password managers first to keep the information secure and second to make it easier to setup new apps when information regarding emails or other personal data is required. The Android O ecosystem will make things more convenient for users by providing them autofill support.

The autofill app stores and secures user data, such as addresses, user names, and even passwords.

Adaptive Icons

With Adaptive Icons, the app icons will integrate more smoothly with the device UI in Android O. The system will display icons in different shapes depending on the mask that the device selected. This means that now developers not have to do the extra work on the app icon.

The system also animates interactions with the icons, and uses them in the launcher, shortcuts, Settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.

Notification Badges

There is another change in how the notifications work with the apps. The apps will now be able to display badges on their icons on the numbers of unread or pending notifications. If you have seen apps in iOS work out before, this is quite similar to that.

Wide Gamut-Colors for Apps

Google will now offer a wider variety of colors so that developers can easily work on their apps and provide users with a more vibrant colors. For this it is important that the device supports such a feature. To work on displaying gamut images, apps will have work on their ’embedded wide color profile’.

Keyboard Navigation

Google promises that with Android O navigation through keyboard will become more streamlined. As the new update offers consistency and works towards providing users an improve experience. Now the UI will offer more ‘predictable model’ for different tabs that will assist users in navigation. Usually when things are not consistent across the platform it creates problems for the users.


With Android O, Google has introduced Wi-Fi Aware, that beforehand was known as the Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN), this means that devices with compatible hardware and apps when nearby can connect with one another and transfer files and data at a high speed.

Improved Audio Quality

Given Google’s partnership with Sony, users can look forward to an improved audio experience as the new Bluetooth technologies will be integrated with Android O. With the new update you will be looking at the LDCA support. LDCA is Sony’s system that ensures better music quality over a Bluetooth connection.

Custom Shortcuts

This feature will allow users to add different helpful shortcuts through their System UI Tuner. This was introduced in Android M. Users will now be able to choose which different functions that they will use as shortcuts. Different shortcuts could pertain to launching apps, getting to some setting ot even opening up a new Chrome tab.

Revamped Setting App

With Android O, Google has worked on organizing the Settings app which before hand for first time users was quite confusing. Now the settings menu is much more organized, providing users with more convenience while navigating different options.

As Android O is still in the developmental phase and different tweaks are being worked on, we will be looking at a more refined user experience and an improved UI with the new update. Let’s see which different other aspects Google’s team will work on.


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