Google Launching Android O During Solar Eclipse, Will Probably Call It ‘Oreo’

Ryan Whitwam
Google first revealed the existence of Android O earlier this year with the beginning of the developer preview. After four preview builds, it’s almost time for the final version to drop. Google has added a countdown timer to the Android O landing page, confirming that Android O’s release will coincide with the total solar eclipse in the US.
Android O (version 8.0) is the follow-up to Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat, which was released last fall. The new update has been available for testing on Pixel and Nexus devices for most of 2017 in order to help developers get their apps ready for the update, and there are a lot of changes to take into account.
Starting in Android O, apps will be able to implement “notification channels.” This is a more powerful way to control what an app can push to your notification shade. If you don’t make any changes, all of an app’s notifications will show up. However, you can turn different elements of notifications on or off. Imagine a news app with different categories for its notifications, which you can turn on and off in the Android settings.
Developers of password and clipboard managers will also be able to support a new autofill provider API in Android 8.0. That means you can choose an app to fill in fields on your device automatically without any sketchy workarounds. Video apps will be able to add support for picture-in-picture mode in Android O as well. You’ll be able to keep a video playing in a floating window while you do other things, which is handy. Apps need to explicitly add support for it, though.
The way apps operate in the background will also be tweaked as part of Google’s ongoing efforts to improve battery life on Android. The new background limits will prevent apps from frequent use of location services, broadcasts, and running a background service. Apps on Android O should therefore be easier on the battery, and users don’t have to do anything. You’ll probably need to tweak some settings if you want an app to have greater access, similar to the way you can opt out of Doze mode for certain apps on Nougat.
Project Treble is perhaps the most important change in Android O, but it’s not coming to most existing devices. This is a new way to build Android for devices that relies on a “Vendor Interface” that talks to the hardware. Then, the Android framework plugs into that. When the time comes for an update, a new Android framework is developed to plug into the existing, forward-compatible Vendor Interface. This saves OEMs from worrying about updating drivers and hardware-specific tools in each update. The result, hopefully, will be faster updates for longer. Only the 2016 Pixels are guaranteed to get this feature in an update. Treble will be included on all future phones that ship with O.
Google will officially reveal the name of Android O on August 21st. However, it may have accidentally leaked the name. A promo video, now deleted, had a filename containing “GoogleOreo_teaser.” Oreo has been one of the more common guesses online, and it wouldn’t be the first time Google has partnered with a company to name Android. Remember 4.4 KitKat?
Android 8.0 will probably begin rolling out to the Pixel phones, as well as Nexus devices from 2015 shortly after the announcement. Everyone else will have to wait for OEMs and carriers to get around to it.
Google Launching Android O During Solar Eclipse, Will Probably Call It ‘Oreo’ Reviewed by Bizpodia on 18:27 Rating: 5

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