Android O Developer Preview: Top Five Features

March 25, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The first look of Google’s upcoming Android O is now out, thanks to the developer preview rollout of Android O that commenced a couple of days ago. While this is the pre-alpha version of Android O, it still gives a sneak peak of the additions that will be coming out when it releases later this year, although not in the fully fledged form.

Like rumored before, Android O will add the picture-in-picture mode along with a host of other additions. We take you through the top five additions that have been spotted in the developer preview version of Android O.

Notifications

Notifications form one of the key areas of improvement for Google in all its mainstream Android upgrades, and Android O is no different either. In the latest version, Google will have two new features added to the notification system as of now; a new channel system for notification and the ability to snooze them.

The channeling feature will let users categorize notifications to control them all at once, like say grouping all notifications from news apps as one. This will let users specify common settings for common apps and notifications without having to tweak them individually. Android O is also having a notification snooze feature which will keep the notifications silent for a period of time. Users can swipe the notification left or right to enable the snooze, following which they will be asked to set the period of snoozing.

Picture-in-Picture

Originally spotted in Android Nougat, the picture-in-picture mode was kept hidden for unknown reasons, but it will finally be turned on in Android O as it appears. The mode will let users handle multi-tasking with one window inside the other. The feature was made available initially for Android TVs, but the expansion would mean a lot for tablet and even smartphone users.

Lock-screen Shortcuts

Users will no longer have to rely on third-party lock-screens or apps to customize the shortcut in their lock-screens. Android O is making a jump with the lock-screen in Android O which will add customizable shortcuts to the lock-screen besides the camera and microphone shortcut for Google Assistant available in Android Nougat.

Adaptive Icons

Android O will also be overhauling the user interface with the addition of adaptive icons. With the feature, Android system will be able to change icons based on a set of parameters. This includes change of shapes and icon contents, which will be beneficial for many apps like Calendar to display precise information right through the icon rather than just pre-stored images. There will also be animated interactions available with the icons that will be available with launchers, shortcuts, share screen etc.

Auto fill API

Android device already supports a host of password managing apps, but it’s making the service better by integrating support for auto fill tabs with these apps. Users can select an app of their choice to auto fill the password columns, and also other details like addresses, user names, emails etc. The feature is more like enabling keyboard of your choice.

Apart from these, Android O has also added new features like HiFi Bluetooth audio, keyboard navigation features, improved battery life by restricting background apps, and more. We still have a long way to go before Android O comes out in its full form, so more features can be expected to jump to the board in the due course.

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