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Google Announces Android O and Developer Preview is Now Available

22 March, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Abraham Jackson

Google has released the developer preview version of its latest mobile operating system. Instead, developers owning a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL, or Pixel C will have to pull it manually and flash their devices.

We've known for a while that Google is already working on Android 8.0, which will make its debut at the upcoming I/O developers conference in May. Google is grouping notifications into channels which give users more control over app notification categories. It says it has put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background in a number of key areas (broadcasts, background services, location updates).

According to 9to5Google's sources, Android O will be a "substantial update" that will bring over a bunch of new features. 9to5 Google wasn't given many details about "new notifications", but citing past rumors of Andromeda, they note that new notifications may include AI-powered syncing that intelligently displays notifications only on the device you're using. Android O also includes better visuals and groupings for notifications.

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As we reported would be the case, Android O also brings the picture-in-picture display functionality from Android TV over to phones and tablets. This allows users to continue watching a video while executing a totally different task.

Adaptive icons. Just like with Google Pixel, the adaptive icons may indeed be going through some changes at the moment. It's an extension of the split window feature, but lets you get a full view so that multitasking offers more immersion and less compromise.

Also included with Android O are autofill APIs. Google says that these tweaks should make it so that apps "have minimal impact on a user's device and battery". If you're a developer, it's definitely worth checking out so you can get used to the new API's and get your apps ready to support Android O when it launches in the third quarter. Over the next few months, Google will release updated developer previews as more features come on board, with a deeper dive promised at Google I/O. Unlike previous year, Google has not showed up any early developer preview of Android 8.0, and the only official tease is of the "Oreo" naming, which to is far from confirmation. If you're a normal user, you may want to hold off on installing this release, at least when it comes to your daily driver.

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