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Android 8.0 Oreo: New features, release date and supported smartphones
The wait is over, and Google has finally announced Android 8.0 Oreo.
Google officially released the next iteration of its Android OS Android 8.0 on 21 August. The launch event took place during the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1917 and it was conducted through a live stream. In any case, as rumored earlier, Android 8.0 is now officially called Oreo.
This launch comes after Google's earlier Android Oreo presentation at Google I/O where the company had revealed a number of features in the latest version of the operating system. Further, developers have had access to a preview version of Google's latest mobile operating system since mid-March, with updated versions releasing in May, June, and July.
But this time, the company has released the stable version of the update for the public. "We are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform and it's smarter, faster and more powerful than ever," the company said. The new version does come with new features which include icon shapes, dots for notifications, more security options, an autofill fill service, smart text selection, and a picture-in-picture mode.
While some of the features have been limited to developers now the new OS will be available to the public as well. If you are looking forward to it, here are some of the new features in Android Oreo.
The OS brings new Notification Channels framework where users will now be able to organize notifications into custom channels and modify the alerts for the entire channel. Basically, users now will have more control on how the notifications work on their phones.
There are also badges on the applications, known as notification dots that indicate which applications have unread notifications. Users can press the notification dots to quickly see what's new, and easily clear them by swiping away.
The new OS also brings in an autofill framework which will make the repeated filling of forms easy for the user. This will come in handy when users are either typing in information to a new service (email or social media accounts), or credit card information to make a payment.
The feature will allow users to quickly fill in a form. After enabling the feature, "Autofill will remember users logins to get into their favorite apps at supersonic speed."
Picture in Picture Mode
The new picture in picture mode is meant mostly useful when users are consuming video content. They can continue operating the device without interruptions even while watching a video or even while making a video call. This feature will allow users to see two apps at once.
Android Oreo rings in support for Wi-Fi Aware, through which supported hardware can discover and chat with each other without a Wi-Fi hotspot or an internet connection. There is also a support for the new Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) 5.0 standard.
Oreo also brings a new Smart Text Selection feature that will improve copy and paste through the help of machine learning, which can now recognize contexts on the screen such as an address and will be able to copy the whole thing with a double tap.
Further, there is a Smart Sharing Feature that allows the operating system to guess the context of a photo, and pick the best application to hand the image over to. The phone learns the behavior of the user over time, to improve the guesses of the smart sharing feature.
The new OS comes with Google Play Protect assurance. Google will now keep the users' device and data safe from misbehaving apps by scanning over 50 billion apps per day. Browsing on the web has also been made more secure with the integration of the Google Safe Browsing API.
Google is bringing a whole new design for its emojis with Android Oreo and the new emojis are more compatible with other platforms and has more tonal color for a fun modern look.
The new OS promises better battery life as Android Oreo helps minimize unintentional overuse of battery from apps in the background. The OS also brings high-resolution audio support, alongside the new native AAudio API, improved keyboard navigation, and enhanced WebView.
When and Which devices will receive Android Oreo?
As per the company, "We're pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player."
"We've also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version," the company further added.
So, Android Oreo which succeeds Android Nougat will be released first to Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL. Android Oreo has been confirmed to land on the OnePlus 5, as well as the OnePlus 3 and 3T later this year. HMD Global has also said that Android Oreo updates will be available for the Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 8 smartphones. A number of Samsung and Sony smartphones will also get the update as and the companies have already given the list.
While Nougat is still in the process of being rolled out, smartphones from different other popular brands that have been launched this year should probably get the update as well. But it will again depend on the manufacturer as to when the actual roll out will happen.