Google have finally given us some insight on the next Android version, Android O. The first developer preview of Android O has been launched but for the developers. Unlike earlier preview versions, users will have to download it manually. Moreover, it is just available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL or Pixel C device. Google probably wants to test it out before launching Android O for the users.
A spokesman from Google further clarified that: “For this release, we wanted to focus on giving developers time to test for compatibility, explore new features and send feedback which will help make Android O a great platform.”
The main features of the first developer preview of Android O
Now that the first developer preview of Android O is out there, we can explore the major updates and features in this new Android version.
Notification Channels: This seems like an interesting feature that we will see in the Android O. It is about notification channels. The feature will allow you to group your notifications into channels according to your preferences. This will allow you to ignore notifications from particular channels.
Picture in Picture: This is another unique feature that Android O will bring to Android devices. It is called Picture in Picture. This new feature will ensure that when you switch to different apps away from a video app, the videos does not stop or pause. They continue to play in the background
Multi-display support: This is probably the most refreshing change that you will get with Android O. The multi-display support will allow you to launch an activity on a remote display.
Keyboard navigation: Android O focuses on the improving the support for arrows and tab navigations. Google in its release said that: “With the advent of Android Apps on Chrome OS and other large form factors, we’re seeing a resurgence of keyboard navigation use within Android apps.”
Background limits: Google has been concentrating on improving battery life by cutting down the power consumption by the background apps. Android O will take it to the next level by allowing you to limit activities of the background apps. You will be mainly able to control: location updates, background services and implicit backgrounds of individual apps to regulate the power consumption precisely.
Wi-Fi Aware: Eventually, we have some updates in the connectivity features with the all new Android O. You will now enjoy new connectivity options such as Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) under Wi-Fi Aware feature. With NAN, you can connect to apps or devices without any internet access. Google is working with its partners to allow more apps to support this feature.
Better interop for calling apps: Your calling apps will now be able to co-ordinate with each other to make calls over the carrier network. It means that you can now control your calls from a different Android device by connecting them together through Wi-Fi. You can even use this framework to make your own UI.
In addition to these main updates, there are a few more features such as adaptive icons, support for high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs etc. However, we were obviously expecting a lot more with this new Android update.
If you have any suggestions in mind regarding Android O, please share in comments!