It’s been that time of the year yet again. Google is about to release the next iteration of its mobile operating system – Android. Keeping in tune with the naming standard that Google has followed the latest Android version will be a dessert beginning with the letter O. And Google have begun releasing android o developer preview 1 of its newer versions since the launch of Android Nougat.
The software giant is at it again – they have launched the developer preview of Android, although the final name for this new OS has not yet been decided. However, there is a little change this time. Furthermore, Android N was released through Android Beta channel. As for Android O, it will be available only for the developers, and they will need to download it manually and flash it on their compatible devices.
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Android O Developer Preview – Who are getting it?
Unlike Android N preview, the Android O developer preview 1 will be available only for the developers. However, you will not be able to download it over the air by registering to the program.
If you want to get it on your device, you need to download it manually from the developer’s channel of Google and flash it on your device. Android O developer preview is not available as a beta program. However, Google has stated that it will be available on Beta channel once enough feedback is received from the developers.
Wait – it is not available for all devices. You can download the developer preview version only if you have Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL or Pixel C. If you have any of those devices, grab the developer preview from the official page.
What are the new features available on Android O?
As anyone would expect, Android O developer preview brings its own set of improvements and changes. There are not may UI changes. However, we have observed some tweaks to the core Android system. Please note that the new iteration is still under development and our observations are likely to change when the final release comes to the fore.
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Having said that, let us examine a few changes that came to our attention –
Picture in picture mode
The concept of Split Screen and Multi Window modes has been taken forward. Though not available natively on Android OS, many device manufacturers have been attempting to implement a picture in picture mode on their gadgets. Now, with Android O, the concept of PiP gets native support. App developers can have their floating videos on the screen.
New Notification Channels
Android O developer preview comes with new notification channels. This enables the app developers to group their notifications under separate heads. The user will, thus, be in better control of the notifications. Apps can send you notifications based on categories called channels. You can decide which messages you would want to receive.
Since the launch of Android Marshmallow, Google has been taking extra pains to improve the battery life on an Android. There will be Automatic Limits on the apps. What we mean by that is Google has plans of controlling what the apps do in the background.
Google considers that apps and developers have been into aggressive implicit broadcasting and this has been a major reason for the battery drain on your smartphone. There is not enough documentation available on this feature, and we may need to wait for the reviews to know about how it works and what are the results.
We have been using the autofill feature unknowingly. You might have observed that your passwords and the repetitive information get auto filled while using apps, or signing up for any apps/services.
This is done to make it easier for signing up apps or making other transactions. This feature will now be officially supported. The feature has the capacity to make apps and services like password managers more effective.
Android is centered around software keyboard, and that is exactly what creates issues when you use a hardware keyboard on your device. There is always a conflict between the software keyboard and the hardware one. Android O developer preview is set to improve the performance of hardware keyboard.
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Other noteworthy features
Apart from the major features explained above, Android O developer preview is also introducing several new features. Some of them can be summed up as
- Adaptive Icons – There were several icons used by different manufacturers. The app developers will be able to use the icons that will look same across everything, be it launcher, widget or anywhere else.
- Wide gamut color support – This is a feature that lets apps to show the images with the right color profile.
- Optimization of ART – Android Run Time or ART is now reportedly optimized well with the release. Google claims that the service is now faster than ever.
How to get Android O Developer Preview?
The new iteration of the Google’s mobile operating system – Android O – has been not yet available for regular users. Unlike with Android N, which was released as part of the Android Beta program, Android O will only be available as a developer preview. It is available only for select devices.
If you own one of those lucky devices and want to check what Android O tastes like, you can head on to Developer portal of Google and download the file. You will need to flash the update using the standard methods manually.
In addition, please note that manual flashing can void your warranty. We would not advise you to opt for it if you are not a developer. Also, note that the update is still under development and may have bugs.
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The Final Thoughts
Well, that’s it for what we know about Android O at this stage. We will be keeping an eye on the developments and will keep you posted on the further developments. However, Android O is not supposed to bring significant changes in the Android ecosystem.
We would expect the improvements should be taken ahead from where they stand on Android Nougat as of now. Have any of our readers got the latest developer update on their devices? If yes, do share your opinions with us.