The latest version of Android was formally announced and released yesterday with availability beginning on more devices moving forward.
I am going to go through a few quick new features coming in the newest version of Android:
- Background Limits
As with other devices background app refreshes are a thing and without being aware of this and controlling it yourself, all of your apps could potentially be asking for data all the time, location data for weather or ads, new messages through social media and other broadcast or services they may need. Android Oreo is attempting to alleviate the drain on battery life by restricting the amount of time and data an app can run in the background.
- Picture in Picture
Good is introducing a new Picture in Picture mode for when you are watching a video, the new feature will minimize any playing video including video calling to a smaller (but expandable) virtual window in the corner allowing you to access other apps to be more productive for certain tasks such as adding calendart events during a video call.
- Notifcation Dots
Apps will now have a notification dot. Touching this dot will bring up the recent notifications for this app with the ability to tap or swipe them away. This is giving the user more control over app notifications individually rather than all as one large group.
If you use a password managing app, this will allow other applications and the Android OS to access the passwords through integration with your password manager, this way you no longer have to visit the manager to copy the password, to then go back and paste your password in. All you have to do is allow Autofill to populate your password instantly.
- Adaptive Icons (Developers)
Google describes this feature as “Developers can now provide a full-bleed square shaped icon and OEMs will mask the icon to ensure intra-device consistency.” This will allow different brands of Android device to maintain a uniform look on their device without relying on a developer to create unique rounded or square icons for their apps to suit multiple brand requirements.
- Several under the hood improvements
Google have spent a lot of time adding several under the hood features for future development of Android devices. For example Android O will now natively support wider colour gamuts which will allow for better use of high-end displays.
Sony’s LDAC codec has been donated to Android by Sony with the intention to improve upon the Bluetooth A2DP protocol currently used today.
There are also small changes to the camera app such as the ability to double tap to instantly zoom to 50%.
Overall a relatively small update for the user to see however underneath the small visual changes there are a lot of security and under the hood improvements which should see some wider improvements in the user experience as this rolls out to Android users.
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