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Android O – First Developer Preview Out, Everything you want to know

Improved battery life, notifications, background limits

Google has released the developer preview of upcoming Android O. The new software promises the better battery life and new notification channels with more features coming ahead. For now it’s for developers, regular users can expect first public beta for from Google I/O in May – Google hasn’t disclosed anyway.

While developers can head over to Android developer portal and download the developer preview for their work, you can continue reading to know more about what Android O is about to bring next. Sure Google hasn’t shared everything about the features but few new features are below.

Google says it has put “a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance.” with its upcoming Android O software. For the purpose, Google is introducing new automatic limits to restrict apps do select things in the background.

Background Limits – Improved Battery Life

To improve battery life, Android O will block apps from carrying out certain tasks when they’re running in the background. It will restrict an app, when running in the background, to interact with “implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates”.

Google says it will “make it easier to create apps that have minimal impact on a user’s device and battery.” Emphasizing on the significance of background limits, Google advises developers to get familiar with it.

App-Controlled Notification Channels

Google introduces new way to control the notifications you see on your Android phone. The new notification channels are app-defined categories which can be used by developers to make well-controlled notification system to users. “users can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, rather than managing all of the app’s notifications together.”

Android-O-Notifications
Users can select categories to get notifications for – Image by: Google

Users will be able to see incoming messages at glance with new notification visuals and grouping.

Platform support for Autofill

Android O brings new Autofill APIs to help developers integrate their apps with the system which in turn will work more easily across the ecosystem – as Google says. They are now adding new APIs to implement platform’s Autofill service to help apps store and secure user data, such as addresses, user names, and even passwords.

Picture-in-Picture (PIP)

Improving on the multitask capability, the PIP display allows users to watch videos in a split screen while continuing to browse sites, send a message or make a call in other part of the screen. Google has also made it easier to use a new app overlay window with the ability to launch a program on a remote display.

Adaptive Icons

“To help you integrate better with the device UI, you 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.”

Android O Adaptive Icons
Adaptive Animated Icons – Image by: Google

There are even more features listed in Android O announcement, you might want to learn. These include: Wide-gamut color for apps, Improved connectivity with Bluetooth LDAC codecs, Wi-Fi Aware – aka Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN), Keyboard navigation, Audio API for Pro Audio,

Android O also adds improvements over WebView as well as adds support for new Java 8 APIs including java.time API. Java Runtime is now faster than ever where some applications benchmarked to have twice the improvements.