It’s exactly a year when Google rolled out Android N Developer Preview. And now it is Android O but we really expecting to get Oreo for O this time.
If you find the major difference between these two versions, Google pushed OTA updates to Nougat users who wanted to install early preview. Although, this time Developer Review is not directly available from Android Beta program instead users need to manually download and flash. Google has announced that it will soon open the window for Android Beta enrolment.
“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,” a Google spokesperson to TechCrunch.
Apart from tweaking core features, Google this time has some different planning to enhance the overall Android usage experience.
Notifications: Android O is adding a new feature called notification channels. Testing Google News, developers can group the notifications from their apps to groups (you want to group notifications by “politics” or “technology”). From this, users will be able to manage notifications based on channels.
The picture in Picture: Video apps of Android O will now facilitate to put themselves into Picture in Picture mode so that video will still play after you switch to a different app. You can see this in YouTube when pressing back button while watching videos.
Multi-display support: Chrome and Android seem to merge partially or incrementally as many devices will be supporting simultaneously to cast the media. With this, developers will now be able to launch an activity on a remote display.
Keyboard navigation: As on Chrome OS, Android keyboard will now be supporting arrow and tab navigation in apps. “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,” Google says in today’s announcement.
Background limits: Putting serious approach to Android Battery life, Google has focused on limiting background apps. These limits focus on three areas: implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates.
New Wi-Fi features: Android O is adding support for a few (relatively) new connectivity features. The updated OS will support more Wi-Fi Aware features like Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN), for example. NAN makes it easy for apps and devices to talk to each other without an internet access point in the middle. Google says it is working with partners to bring support for NAN to devices “as soon as possible.”
Better interop for calling apps: Android O will make it easier for calling apps to talk to each other and make calls over the carrier network. Developers will now be able to use the new Telecom framework to build their own UI for placing calls and calls will be displayed and controllable via Bluetooth devices with displays like you’d find in a car. For the most part, this looks like a feature the telecoms will be happy about.
Android Nougat shares 2.8 percent of all Android devices in the world and many users are still on Marshmallow and below. On another side, this developer preview will be available to Google phone users only.