Today, Google released the first developer preview of Android O, the latest major version of Android. Right now, O is at very early stages and isn’t available to download for testing, but the new features can give us a look into what the final version might look like. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the announced features.
Battery-saving background limits
One of the main reasons for battery drainage is background tasks. Android O will help save battery power by restricting what apps can do while running in the background. Specifically, Android will place hard limits on the amount of times apps receive updates about the phone’s location, which is a very battery-intensive background task, as well as smaller restrictions on how apps can behave when they are not open.
Apps will be able to create categories for their own notifications, called channels. Users can then filter notifications based on the channels, instead of filtering all the notifications from an app at once. For example, Twitter could make one channel for direct messages, one for highlights, and one for retweet alerts. The notification shade will also group notifications from an app by channel, making it easier to skim them and only focus on what the user wants to.
Picture in picture
Android O supports Picture in Picture (or PIP) mode, which lets apps show content – limited in previous versions of Android only to videos – as an overlay while in other apps. For example, this will let users continue watching a video while they are answering a text or hailing a ride.
Under the hood improvements
As with every operating system update, this one comes with a slew of improvements that work in the background to make a noticeable difference in day to day use. These improvements, such as an new optimizations and the ability to take advantages of high-end displays, are small but will add up to create an all-around smoother Android experience.
That about wraps it up. In the coming months, Google will likely announce more parts of the update. While we don’t know much about Android O at the moment, it is sure going to be an exciting evolution in the future of Android.