With Google I/O come and gone, It seems that Android O isn’t going to be the most dramatic software update ever, but there’s still enough to look forward to. Google released its second developer preview. With this Update, Android O brings a number of performance improvements and new features. Though some of these features are small tweaks, collectively, they’ll make Android a lot more pleasant to use on the whole.
This post will be updated as new features are discovered and announced in versions of Android to come. If you have a recent Nexus or Pixel device, you can try out Android O for yourself by signing up for the beta program.
Android O features
Android is now going to support picture-in-picture video – essentially a floating video window that will help make sure you never get any work done.
Some manufacturers like Samsung have already introduced this feature, the feature is normally limited to just a few apps. Official Google support means much wider compatibility to come.
A bunch of notification improvements
- Now you can Snooze notifications and have them appear at a later time so you can focus on the task at hand without forgetting whatever getting notified about.
- Developers can set background colors to help differentiate their notifications from the crowd.
- Notification badges/dots are exactly what they sound like, a little badge telling you there are unread notifications in a particular app.
- Messaging notifications can now show more text before you need to enter an app.
Android Go is Google’s new Android fork that promises smoother performance and lower data usage on affordable devices. It’s basically a lighter version of Android O with several optimizations to the kernel and Google’s native Android apps.
Speed and power improvements
Google is claiming much faster boot times. The Google Pixel, specifically, can boot twice as fast in O over Nougat.
Google announced native support for the Kotlin programming language at I/O, and developers rejoiced. It’s a relatively young language that is meant to deal with some of Java’s annoyances.
Now many apps have been using Kotlin code in a patchwork of sorts, but this is the first time you can natively develop Android apps from start to finish with Kotlin.
Android O improved multi-display support substantially, by allowing you to move apps from one panel to another. Apps can specify which display an activity should run on.