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Android 8.0 Oreo: name, numbering and launch
Finally, Google announced the name and more details about the eighth version of Android. The name chosen for this version was Oreo, thus closing the stage of rumors about the flavor that would be chosen by the company. The Alpha phase opened on March 21, and in May the OS received a major incremental update.
With the announcement of the final version today (8/21), Big G also announced which Nexus and Pixel devices will receive the update and also made available the platform SDK, which is the OS development kit for other smartphones. As of today, all manufacturers will be able to work on the final source code of the version and optimize their devices. To download the Android 8.0 preview, access the following topic:
Android 8.0 Oreo: how to download and hands-on video
As in previous years, it is possible to download the system images from the official Android Developers website and install them on one of the devices below:
- Nexus 5X
- Nexus 6P
- Nexus Player
- Pixel C
- Pixel XL
Attention: when flashing Android Oreo, keep in mind that you will lose your data and have a new system on your device. To learn how to manually install Android 8.0 on your Nexus or Pixel, check out the tutorial below:
Below you can see our hands-on video of the Alpha version of Android 8.0, released in March:
Android 8.0 Oreo: functions
The Google team divided Android Oreo’s functions into two strands where each covers a specific part of the system:
- Fluid Experiences:
- Notification points (Notification Dots)
- Auto fill
- Smart text selection
- Google Play Protect
- Performance optimizations (Runtime / battery)
- Play Console
There are also complementary additions:
- UI changes
- Notification Channels
- New Emojis
- Adaptive Icons
- Wi-Fi Aware
- AAudio API for Pro Audio
- Audio transitions and effects
- Enable Wi-Fi automatically
- Project Treble
The following is an overview of each function (screenshots are from the beta version):
Background limits: we will have an optimization of energy use in the background. According to what we have seen, we will have a greater automatic limitation of what applications, services and location updates will be able to access when they are running in the background. For users, this means that apps will have less of an impact on the device’s battery.
Notification channels: you have more control over notifications in Android 8.0 Oreo. This way, you can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, which is better than dealing with managing notifications together. In addition, we will have a new look at how notifications will appear and how they will be grouped:
Auto fill: the goal here is to simplify the configuration of a new device or synchronize passwords by auto-filling in Android. Thus, many of your applications will recognize logins and passwords quickly.
Interface changes: there are not many changes in the Android Oreo user interface, however, in this beta version the expected additions are more and new features and minor changes to the Android UI:
What we noticed so far is that the design of the settings menu has changed little, it is no longer black and soft, for example, the notification bar continues to show notifications even after you slide to the system shortcuts. And the best of all is that we noticed some changes in the backup service, including SMS already appears in this menu.
AAudio API for Pro Audio: Audio is the new native Android API developed for applications that require high performance and low latency audio quality. Applications that use AAudio will be able to read and save data via stream. In addition, Android Oreo supports high-quality Bluetooth audio and codecs like LDAC.
Audio transitions and effects: Android 8.0 Oreo will use a third-party tool that will allow developers to create audio effects and transitions based on the volume curve, the type of interpolation and the duration. In other words, the audio change on your smartphone, tablet or Android TV may have features such as increasing or decreasing the volume gradually during the beginning or end of the audio, for example.
New emoji format: with this update from alpha to beta, we had a change in the format of the emojis, which were closer to the standard that other services use:
Adaptive icons: the appearance of the icons may differ between the wide range of devices running on Android. Thus, an application may appear circular in the launcher of one device and square in another. And all of this, of course, depends on the manufacturer’s skin, but it’s nice to see that Google will now offer a standard for adapting application icons to the UI (if the developer does so).
Wi-Fi Aware (also known as Neighbor Awareness Networking or NAN): this function basically works so that devices with compatible hardware can communicate when they are close, via Wi-Fi Aware, without necessarily using the internet connection.
Enable Wi-Fi automatically: the function of automatically activating Wi-Fi close to secure networks was already present in the alpha version of Android Oreo, but it was not functional, however, this feature can now be used without problems. Accessing Settings> Network and Internet> Wi-Fi> Wi-Fi preferences, we find the option «Enable Wi-Fi automatically».
After activating this option, the system will turn on Wi-Fi and save the networks as soon as you are in range. That way, when you’re at home or at work, you no longer have to worry about turning on Wi-Fi, as the system will do it automatically. This is a highly expected feature and will save the data plan of many Android users around the world.
Play Console: this is a feature aimed directly at developers, but it will have an excellent impact on the users’ experience as it aims to decrease the closing of apps, freeze frames, slow software rendering and other errors that hinder the use of applications.
Google Play Protect: this feature comes to optimize security on Android. With Play Protect, the Play Store will be safer, since we will have a scan of the applications installed on the device from the store, in order to check any type of malware installed.
Java 8 and virtual machine optimizations: this means better performance, which we hope to see in all new versions of the OS. According to Google, the Android virtual machine will be up to 2x faster (according to some benchmarks).
Modo PiP (picture in picture video): for viewing two videos at the same time. This feature had already been launched for the first time for Android TV running on Android Nougat. With it, you can use a video in a window that will remain open on any screen, almost like a multiple window. Remember what we have today within the YouTube app.
Smart text selection: it will be easier to use the keyboard, in particular physical keyboard commands, such as the arrows and the Tab key. Using machine learning, it has now become easier to recognize the selection of an address, URL or phone number, leaving the process to copy and paste easier.
Project Treble: Android Oreo will get a vendor interface with Project Treble. This means that we will have a structural Android interface that can be used to access the implementations of internal component suppliers, such as Qualcomm and MediaTeck, for example.
This will allow you to update Android more easily, as the entire process will take place regardless of this vendor implementation. Google’s idea is to speed up updates by manufacturers by making the process easier. To learn more about Project Treble, visit the link below:
Notification Points (Notification Dots): these are points in the application icons in the launcher, in which, when you press and hold under an icon, notifications appear. Thus, a small ball will appear over an app icon in the launcher with unread notifications.
So, what did you think of all the news of Android 8.0 Oreo?
The purpose of this article is to gather all information about Android Oreo, the new version of Google’s operating system, in one place. Thus, the updating and republication of this matter will become necessary over time.