Google has just announced the next version of it’s Android Operating System and as presumed it is termed as Android O. But, of course this is not the final name, which might take some time. In fact , Google has timed it well as it has announced it one day after the second beta version of Android 7.1.2 Nougat.
Google is adopting the same policy as it has done in last year’s Android N Developer Preview regarding Android O, as it is not revealing everything about what all are provided by Android O. Google will unveil the OS fully as we proceed towards Google I/O 2017.
In this, we will only describe the features that are included within the developer preview:
Refreshed Background Limits
Google intends to maximize battery life and it achieves this by automatic limits put on the background on your app. There are three areas in which the limits are imposed and these are: location updates, background services and implicit broadcasts.
Picture In Picture (PIP) Mode
This is feature that was found so far in Android TV but now available in Android O. You can view the app in one window, while browsing the video in another. This split-window multitasking feature was brought in by Android 7.0.
An Autofill API can be selected similar to a keyboard app. User data like names, addresses and passwords can be stored by the Autofill app.
The users can now manage the notifications with a unified system of Notifications Channel, as per Google’s developer Handbook. This will enable finer control over notifications with respect to parameters like sound, vibration and light etc.and also allows to set importance.
Adaptive Launcher Icons
Visual customization has been one of the most highlighted features of Android OS, but with Android O, Google is imparting further levels of freedom to the app developers as they tweak the app appearance across wide range of devices. The launcher icon can assume a circular shape on some device, whereas it is square in some and squircle on yet another device. The developers can opt for different sizes for the various shapes and also provides with a floating icon. A mask is provided and all other shapes are provided with that shape. Moreover, the animation effects are given automatically to various shapes like bounce, zoom and drop shadows.
Support for AptX
The quality of audio that is streamed over Bluetooth has been significantly enhanced till the arrival with AptX, otherwise audio was considered as sub-standard. For this, you need to have an AptX enabled earphone, headphone and speaker and the AptX codecs must be supported by the source of the stream. Moreover, Android O will also be supportive of Sony’s high-definition LDAC codec. Along with this, AptX HD will also be supported by Android O.
This is not an ROM released through Google’s Beta Program. The Android Developer Handbook gives some the most notable changes. It comes as developer preview and Google might either add or drop some features. It cannot be used on a primary phone. However, OTA updates are not available, if this ROM is flashed on the phone.
The final release of the Android OS will come on Q3 2017. There will be four releases of the Developer Preview by Android O. This happens to be the alpha version of the ROM and the beta version is about to come sometimes in May-June. The updates can be manually downloaded and flashed, if interested about an early look at the OS that is available on Nexus 6P, 5X and Nexus Player along with Google Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C.