Android Nougat is barely running on 3% of all Android devices, but that won’t deter mother Google from moving on to the next version of Android. Android O, we are yet to get the official name, however, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior VP of Android did tease what could be the name of the next Android version in a tweet, a while back.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) February 20, 2017
Going with previous experience, I wouldn’t hold my breath on Android Oreo. Anyway, the headline today is that the first developer preview of Android O has been announced. In a blog post by Dave Burke, Android VP of Engineering, he has highlighted what we should expect from the latest version of Android.
He however also states that the build is in its early days, “there are more features coming, and there’s still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us. But it’s booting :).” We expect a more comprehensive announcement to be made at Google I/O in May, but for now, here’s what’s new in Android O:
Background limits – Starting with Android Nougat, Android can restrict certain activities an application wants to do while it’s in the background. Android O builds on this and places top priority on saving power and improving battery life without the user having to do anything or install any third-party apps. New limits on implicit broadcasts (sending “signals” for other apps or activities to act upon), background services and location updates are automatic.
Notification Channels – Nougat brought bundled notifications. Android O is building on this with notification channels. This is simply grouping notifications together by their type. Notifications are still managed by the app that delivers them, but users can control how things are displayed on a channel.
Picture In Picture (PIP) and New Windowing Features – PIP display is now available on phones and tablets, so users can continue watching a video while they’re answering a chat or hailing a car. Other new windowing features include a new app overlay window for apps to use instead of system alert window, and multi-display support for launching an activity on a remote display.
Font Resources in XML – This means that fonts can be defined the same way colors and other resources are in application layouts using XML, and developers will have more control over the fonts and style they use. This might mean we can have apps with their own custom fonts without any complicated procedures by developer or users.
Adaptive Icons – Developers can now create adaptive icons that the system displays in different shapes, based on a mask selected by the device. The system also animates interactions with the icons, and uses them in the launcher, shortcuts, Settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.
Connectivity – High quality bluetooth audio through the Sony LDAC Codec, Neighborhood Aware Network (NAN) connectivity, devices with supported hardware (Wi-Fi Aware specification) can communicate with each other using Wi-Fi without an internet access point.
This is just the highlights, for a complete list of what’s new so far, check out Android Developers blog.