Proving rumors and speculations correct, Google has now officially named Android ‘O’ as Android ‘Oreo’ there ending months of wait.
Google has kept the name of the latest Android in line with the naming tradition it has adopted ever since it launched the initial version of the mobile operating system. Android’s version 8.0 is named after a well-known cookie brand Oreo. This is not the first time Google has borrowed the name from a brand — KitKat was also involved for an earlier version.
Android 8.0 Oreo is finally live after months of work bringing with it tons of new features including picture-in-picture, autofill, integrated Instant Apps, Google Play Protect, a faster boot up and a few more. Android O is also heavily optimised for battery life optimisation, apart from startup time, graphics rendering and stability.
As for now, the Pixel and Nexus smartphones are being tested by various carriers and the final roll out will hit the OTA servers within a few weeks. Google has also confirmed that they have been closely working with smartphone manufacturers, namely Essential, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp and Sony, who are scheduled to be launching and upgrading new devices to Android Oreo.
Some of the amazing features of Android 8.0 Oreo have been detailed below:
Picture-in-picture: This new feature lets users manage two tasks simultaneously on any size screen, and it’s easy for apps to support it.
Notification dots: It extends the reach of notifications and offers a new way to surface activity in your apps. Dots work with zero effort for most apps — it even extracts the colour of the dot from an icon. This though has been available on Samsung and LG smartphones from a pretty while.
Autofill framework: This simplifies how users set up a new device and synchronise their passwords. Apps using form data can optimise their apps for Autofill, and password manager apps can use the new APIs to make their services available to users in their favourite apps. Autofill will roll out fully over the next few weeks as part of an update to Google Play Services.
System optimizations: Google has worked across the system to help apps run faster and smoother — for example, in the runtime a new concurrent compacting garbage collection, code locality, and more, are added.
Background limits: Google has added new limits on background location and Wi-Fi scans and changes in the way apps run in the background. These boundaries prevent unintentional overuse of battery and memory and apply to all apps — make sure you understand and account for these in your apps.
Adaptive icons: Developers can now create adaptive icons that the system displays in different shapes, based on a mask selected by a device manufacturer. The system also animates interactions with the icons and uses them in the launcher, shortcuts, settings, sharing dialogues, and in the overview screen.
Shortcut pinning: App shortcuts and homescreen widgets are great for engaging users and now developers can let users add and pin shortcuts and widgets to the launcher from within your app. There’s also a new option to add a specialised activity to help users create shortcuts. The activity is complete with custom options and confirmation.
Wide-gamut colour for apps: Imaging apps can now take full advantage of new devices that have a wide-gamut colour capable display. To display wide gamut images, apps enable a flag in their manifest files (per activity) and load bitmaps with an embedded wide colour profile (AdobeRGB, Pro Photo RGB, DCI-P3, etc.).
WebView enhancements: Android Oreo enables WebView multi-process mode by default and adds an API to let apps handle errors and crashes. Developers can also opt-in their app’s WebView objects to verify URLs through Google Safe Browsing.
Android 8.0 is the first release of the Oreo series and there will be more improvements in Oreo’s life cycle in form of Android 8.1.1 and so on. The current release is the first public iteration of Oreo with the possibility of some unknown bugs. If you have a Google Pixel or Nexus, then you can taste the new cookie in town immediately. Phones with custom Android versions will receive the update depending on how fast their respective manufacturers oblige with the implementation.