Google yesterday released the third preview for Android O revealing the version number for the OS. In previous builds, the about screen didn't show the actual version number. Now, the third developer preview shows Android 8.0. Well, this information fails to surprise us as we already assumed that.
Apparently, Android O still has a long road ahead of itself before it is rolled out to devices. Google has said that it doesn't plan to release the final version of the software before August, which is a couple of months away. Looking at the company's past patterns, even Android Nougat was launched at around the same time last year. If you can remember, the Google Pixel came with Android 7.1. So it is thought that the Google Pixel 2 will be running on Android O 8.1.
While not as huge like Android L, Android O can still be considered as a pretty big update for Android. The latest version of Android is deemed to be more useful, deliver Fluid Experiences which will include features like Picture-in-picture, Notification Dots, Autofill with Google, and Smart Text Selection. Additionally, Android O will also come with TensorFlow Lite tech, some pertinent security enhancements, new developer tools, and a new programming language.
If you are interested, you can scroll down and read about the Android O in detail.
With the new Android version, users will get better notifications experience with Notification Dots. Users will be easily able to view notifications by long pressing an app's respective icon. Further, the new OS will come with Picture in picture support, wherein users can multitask between watching YouTube videos which will be minimized into a small window while navigating through other apps. Android O will also have a feature called Autofill which when enabled will remember your usernames and passwords and you can quickly login to your account. And there's more, Android O will also come with a feature called Smart text selection. Well, this basic text highlight feature will be using Google AI to easily identify and copy useful text intelligently. Google also talked about the TensorFlow Lite Tech.
It is the company's new neural network API, that will power the next generation Android devices. According to Google, the tech will support features such as speech recognition, augmented reality apps and devices.
Google had said that Google Play Protect will come with Android O and the feature is basically a virus scanner for Android apps. And with this Google will allow users to scan each app uploaded to the Play Store. Further Android O will bring in optimizations in the OS and according to Google the new OS will have twice as fast boot time than before. There are extensive changes to the runtime also including things like concurrent, compacting garbage collection and code locality. As a result, the apps will run faster Google said.
Moreover, there will be wise limits applied to background services and this will prevent apps from running in the background for too long. Therefore users will get better battery efficiency with their devices.
New programming language
Kotlin While Java has been the standard programming language for Android, many have deemed it to be limiting. So Google has added support for a different programming language called the Kotlin. Google will be offering "first class support for Kotlin" and the company will be working with JetBrains (Kotlin was written by the JetBrains). However, the new programming language will be a tool to help developers build great apps.
Google will release one more developer preview before the final launch, which is slated for Q3. We may get to see the fourth developer preview in the next month. Thanks to the third developer preview, developers can start prepping their apps for Android O and even begin publishing them on Google Play Store for users.
Currently, Android O is available for the all the Google devices which include the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P in the Android Beta program.