Every year, Google releases yet another update for its Android OS.
Starting from Cupcake all the way up to Oreo, every update has added visual changes, additional features as well as optimizing hardware usage.
This time with Android Oreo, Google focused on improving stuff from the back-end more and left most of the look and feel of Nougat in tact.
Let’s have a look at the improvements that come with the newer version.
This feature is focused on multitasking allowing you to launch activities in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode.
It lets you use multiple apps, for example you can view Netflix in a small floating window while checking your email or checking your Facebook newsfeed in full-screen.
New Icons+Shape Options
Android Oreo has updated some of the app icons for Google’s apps. Another added feature is the option to change the shape of the icons based on your choice. It adds a degree of customization previously limited to rooted Android phones
Notification Colors and Dots
The notifications will appear the same way as before however their individual colors can now change based on the app you’re running. For example if you’re listening to music, the notification will show the album color for the song.
Notification dots will now be available for more apps for everyone. Previously it was limited to Google Pixel phones only and a few ROMS here and there.
Tapping and holding the app icon will show you the notification as well as other options for the app.
Rearranged Settings Menu
Finding the right settings was a problem since Marshmallow. With Oreo the settings have been bundled together under new sub-menus which makes finding the right setting a whole lot easier than before.
Its a small but much needed change.
Emojis have been the subject of debate for a long time now. Previously Google changed how they look, opting for a flatter, simpler look. Criticism forced the company to change them again and now they look like a hybrid between 2D and 3D.
Let us know which ones you prefer in the comments.
Android Oreo has made filling out forms (login details/credit card forms) a whole lot easier for you.
It can be enabled by the user by going to Settings > System > Languages & input > Advanced > Input assistance > Autofill service.
Autofill hints can be provided by the app developers to make form filling faster and much easier. It can also mark the fields that are important for Autofill. It can now remember your credentials for Facebook, Twitter etc.
Now you can choose to let some app notifications through while blocking other unnecessary ones.
For example in Google Allo you can turn off notifications about new features while notifications about messages can be left on. Same can be done for other apps including Google Chrome.
Learn About a users’ Sharing Preferences
This one is borderline creepy. Android Oreo will make suggestions based on your activities within different applications.
For example, if you take a selfie, it would suggest you to share it on Instagram or Facebook or it would suggest you a budgeting app if you take picture of your grocery bill.
Smart Text Selection
Additionally if you highlight text in your email or WhatsApp messages, Android will try to determine its context. For example if its an address, you will be able to see a Google Maps link among other copy/paste options when you highlight it.
Android Oreo will learn these patterns based upon users’ personalized preferences.
Limiting Background Tasks
One of the most important changes is how Oreo handles background tasks. Previously apps were allowed to control how much resources they take up. This meant that Facebook and other social media apps slowed your phone down and ate up all your battery.
Google has now limited background tasks so hopefully you might see better battery life and lesser slowdowns with Android Oreo.
Devices with Android Oreo will be able to discover and connect directly to each other (other phones with Android Oreo) via Wi-Fi Aware, also known as Neighbor Awareness Networking or NAN.
Device discovery will be supported by the Android Oreo without using “traditional” Wi-Fi access points.
Android Oreo is built on Project Treble which splits Android into two modules; a platform (Google) part and a vendor (OEM) part.
Users often complain that big phone companies such as Samsung and Huawei don’t issue updates on time. Going from Marshmallow to Nougat for example took months compared to Google Pixel phones or Nexus phones.
Project Treble will help these companies by allowing them to update to the newest version of Android without changing the default skin they use (TouchWiz or Emotion UI for example).
This in turn will speed up the update process which will help both the users and the phone makers in the long run.
New Bluetooth Audio Codecs
In earlier versions of Android you were limited to aptX and AAC codecs which meant that some of your Bluetooth headphones couldn’t work on your phones. With added Bluetooth audio codecs, this problem has been resolved and you choose to enable individual codecs on your own.