Google Unveils Android Oreo, Its Latest Smartphone OS

The official Android 8.0 release is here. Android Oreo officially arrived Monday August 21 during the solar eclipse. The over-the-air (OTA) update began rolling out immediately to supported Pixel and Nexus devices.

Google will begin rolling out Oreo to Google handsets first, including the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X and 6P. There’s no word on an official release date, however, according to the company it should be “soon”.

Other Android phones may have to wait a little longer to get the Oreo update, except those already enrolled in the Android Beta program who will receive the update regardless of device, alongside the first wave of Google phones.

The Android 8.0 update’s features have been announced. Here’s a brief description of the new features.

Also read: Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8.

Android Oreo features

  • Core features: battery life, updates, security
  • Hardware support: Hi-Fi via Bluetooth and HDR displays
  • Surface features: Emoji, notifications and picture-in-picture

Android O core features

•Power saving

To protect users’ battery life and performance, Google has put automatic limits on app background activities in Android O. These background limits will specifically include implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates. For users, this means less energy consumption, and ultimately, longer battery life.

Earlier updates – Project Treble

With Project Treble, Android O will get a vendor interface. This means that Android will be more modular so that manufacturers can use the vendor interface to access the implementations from internal component vendors, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek. This will allow Android updates to happen more easily, because the whole process can be done independently of these vendor implementations. The idea is to speed up updates from manufacturers by making the process more streamlined.

•Apps and reboots are faster with Android O

Optimizations in the system should cut device restart time in half and dramatically increase app performance.

•Apps are better and secured with Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect is a background service that will optimize security on Android by analyzing the behavior of apps to detect malware and remove it from your phone and from the Play Store. Google is also increasing pressure on app developers to increase the performance and stability of their apps. If they fall in the bottom 25 percent, they are warned and then removed from the Play Store if there’s no improvement.

Must see: Google’s security suite ‘Play Protect’ rolling out to Android phones.

•Wi-Fi Aware (also known as Neighbor Awareness Networking or NAN)

This function basically works so that devices with compatible hardware can communicate when they are close, via Wi-Fi Aware, without necessarily having to use the internet connection.

•Autofill revolutionizes password management

Google is bringing a system-wide Autofill API to Android O, allowing all of your passwords to be managed in a central place. This will mean convenience and security when logging into apps and filling out forms, since there won’t be any need to copy/paste usernames and passwords anymore.

•Rescue Party

Another new Android 8.0 feature has been announced. Rescue Party will help prevent bootloops, one of the most dreaded mobile phone issues. When core system components are crashing over and over again, Android will notice and take steps to recover the device. As a final resort, it will reboot into Recovery Mode and give the option to factory reset the device. This feature will be enabled by default and doesn’t require any special hardware, though it’s only for phones running Android Oreo.

Android O hardware support

•HDR displays are officially supported

HDR is an interesting feature, but there was little support on the system side. Now, apps can define how to save and display image resources with a wide range of colors. Google says this is especially relevant for image processing apps.

•Better Bluetooth support

Android O supports high-quality Bluetooth audio and codecs such as LDAC. Sony is helping Google in the development of LDAC audio wireless technology. According to the company, LDAC can transfer a larger volume of data through Bluetooth, with a bit rate of more than 990 kbps. In other words, this means better audio quality for devices running with Android O.

Android O surface features

  • Text selection gets smarter
  • New round emoji
  • Adaptive icons
  • Notification channels and dots
  • Widgets are easier to integrate
  • Search and find app info
  • Picture in Picture
  • Animated clock icon

What do you think of the new features? What features would you like to see in the next Android version?

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