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Android 8.0 Oreo and its superpowers: news, tips and functions

Android 8.0 Oreo and its superpowers: news, tips and functions

I am a big fan of the OS and I believe that Project Treble, Android Go and Android One will speed up the distribution of the new version and, gradually, reduce the problems of Android fragmentation. I hope to see the Oreo in custom ROMs and running on older models as well. Anyway, my expectation is that each one can bite a piece of this cookie full of incredible functions, like the ones I separated below.

  • Faster boot: Oreo has doubled the system’s startup speed, allowing everyone to turn on their devices faster than ever.
  • Password manager: the new version comes with a password manager that can be used in Chrome and other apps, as a kind of autocomplete. The feature even suggests passwords for apps that you request during login.

Permanent notifications about application behavior

«App X» shown above other applications and «App Y» is consuming battery in the background. This is one of the most useful but, at the same time, most hated features of Android Oreo. When an application shows overlapping content, we encounter a permanent notification that does not go out (for example, Messenger shown above other applications). And that is not the only annoying notification.

To help you save your valuable battery, Google decided to present a warning for apps that consume a lot of power in the background (for example, “Spotify is consuming battery in the background”). The problem lies in the fact that these apps are often supposed to work this way, like Messenger, Chat Heads and Spotify, which allows us to listen to music while doing something else. If you want to get rid of such notifications forever, the way is this:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select Applications and Notifications.
  • Click Show all apps.
  • In the menu at the top right (the three dots), select Show system.
  • Now, in the list, search for the Android system and select it.
  • Enter the item Notifications of the application

Here, you will see many tabs that can be enabled and disabled, but don’t be afraid. For applications like Facebook Messenger, you will see switches dedicated to hide the notification for each individual application. For applications that consume battery power in the background, there is no such distinction and we can only hide all warnings or show them all. To do this, simply scroll through the list and find the application of the item that consumes the battery and disable it.

Free up space with a few clicks

Android Oreo has an interesting function that allows you to free up internal memory in a few clicks. The function is available on all smartphones with Android shares (Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C), and also on Sony devices. On Huawei and Samsung smartphones with Oreo, the producers decided to trust their memory cleaning systems so that the steps can be different from those listed by me.

First, the system allows you to check how much memory an application or content takes up, by dividing them by categories. By going to the settings and selecting the item’s storage space, you will access the list. When clicking on each category, the applications related to the category and the various files classified by their weight will be presented. You can then decide whether it is worth getting rid of an application that you don’t use much and that weighs on the final budget of available memory.

At the top of the list, you’ll also find a button called Free up space. Clicking on the button will bring up a list of things that we can delete to free up memory space. In the case of my list, I found some files that are in the Download folder, a list of less used applications and the backup of audios, photos and videos. The latter does nothing but check the multimedia content saved in Google photos and suggest that you delete it from your smartphone, as you can access them by opening the application in question and accessing the cloud.

Evolution of multi-window mode

After ups and downs, behold, multi-window mode has come to Android 7.0 Nougat. Now, with Oreo, we have an evolution of this feature, Picture-in-Picture (PiP). You can continue reading AndroidPIT in full screen while watching a video on YouTube or making a video call.

android oreo pip picture in picture image

PiP running on YouTube / © NextPit (screenshot)

App shortcuts

Using the notification points, you can check the latest changes or go to a specific configuration or functionality of an app. Do not understand anything? Let me explain. It turns out that Oreo brings smarter shortcuts to apps and games, that is, by pressing them for a few seconds it is possible to access a submenu with options and even settings for it.

  • Instant Apps: Instant Apps allows you to run an app without having to download it to your phone. When searching for a song on Spotify by Google, for example, you can access key parts of the app to hear the sound without having to download anything. Liked? Go here and see more details about Instant Apps.
  • Google Play Protect: The Play Store has a filter that works as a scanner to make your downloads more secure. More than 50,000 apps are checked daily.
  • Emojis with a new look: emojis got a new look, much closer to the one used on iOS. New options have also entered.
android oreo new emojis update tips

Emojis with a new look / © NextPit (screenshot)

  • Customizable icons: Oreo has a new system for adapting icons, allowing them to be adapted according to the Launcher or the screen size.
  • Information on the lock screen: Ambient Display is present on Android Oreo and it brings even more useful information to the lock screen. Without unlocking your Android, you will be able to know everything that is happening inside it. Similar to Always On Display from several manufacturers.
  • Greater control in the background: the system has improved the RAM management mechanism and features in the background, such as apps and location. In addition to optimizing RAM, the Oreo delivers longer battery life.
  • Deep Color: this is the name of the system that makes color reproduction more vibrant. Images and videos are rendered without loss of quality on the Oreo.

Smarter notifications

The commands for notifications have been improved, in addition to the traditional «reply», you can perform other actions through the notification area. The whole system follows a more colorful pattern, albeit with a white background. In this way, the user can associate notifications with apps more easily, by colors. The order of notifications has been changed, since running apps like Spotify and unread messages from apps like WhatsApp are pinned to the top.

The icing on the cake has the option to postpone the notification for a few minutes. That way, you can choose to be alerted again to the same notification after 5, 10 or 15 minutes.

conf shortcuts new android panel oreo

New notification panel / © NextPit (screenshot)

Disable notification points

Notification points are new to Android Oreo, but what are they? They are no more than those colored dots that you can see appear on your app’s icons when you receive notifications. They are there to remind you that you have received a notification from this application, and you can access it from the smartphone’s notification area or by pressing and holding the icon. For some users, these points can be annoying and, for that reason, I want to explain how to disable them.

  • Press and hold an empty spot on the main screen.
  • Click Home Settings.
  • Select the Notification indicators item.
  • Turn off the option under the item Allow notification indicators.

A simple and effective solution to get rid of those odious points about your application icons.

New settings menu

The Android settings menu went back to being white, thus losing the greenish color that dominated the top of the screens and the icons. Colors are in abundance at the Oreo! The sections have also been reorganized and are more accessible. The hamburger menu, which came with Nougat, left on Android 8.

andorid oreo menu tips new conf

New system settings menu / © NextPit (screenshot)

Other news from Oreo:

  • Smart Wi-Fi: Android Oreo is able to recognize the Wi-Fi networks you use most often and connect to them automatically using your location. The most interesting thing is that Wi-Fi is activated and deactivated, and is not in the background looking for networks.

  • High-definition audio: Hi-Res and other high-definition audio codecs are present on the Oreo. Support for quality sound is guaranteed here.

So, curious to test the Oreo? Which feature did you like the most?

Article made in partnership with the editor Iago X. Reimundez, from AndroidPIT.es, and Luca Zaninello, from AndroidPIT.it