The next version of Google’s mobile operating system is on its way
After some pretty confusing teases about octopuses, Google has officially revealed the next version of its operating system will be called Android Oreo. We take a look at some of the big upcoming features...
1. Improved battery life
Android Nougat lets us manually restrict some background app activities, but Android Oreo is taking this a step further by doing it automatically. Without any input from us, it’ll limit what certain apps can do when they’re open in the background.
According to Android, these changes will make it easier to create apps that “have minimal impact on a user's device and battery”.
2. New notification channels
Oreo will help us manage our notifications by grouping them into channels. So rather than receiving everything together, we’ll be able to sort them into subjects such as ‘tech news’.
3. Picture-in-picture viewing
The big O will make it possible to view videos on your phone in a picture-in-picture (PiP) mode. That means you’ll be able to view a video on the corner of your screen when you’re in another app. If this sounds familiar, then it’s the kind of thing you can do already with videos when you’re in the YouTube app. But now it’s much more useful - you’ll be able to do things like watch your favourite Netflix show while tracking your Uber driver’s arrival, or firing off an important email.
4. Better sounds
Android Oreo has a few ways to keep us better connected up its sleeve. Bluetooth connectivity is being improved, so we’ll be to stream to our headphones and wireless speakers at a higher quality. That’s right - our favourite tunes are going to sound better than ever. If Android smartphones follow Apple in removing the audio jack, we could soon be listening to Spotify through USB Type-C ports... time will tell.
5. Adaptive icons
Icon packs are more popular than ever, and Android Oreo’s new adaptive icons are going to make them even better. We’ll see new visual effects and animations, and icons will be able to adapt their look and feel to different devices. So whether you’ve got a Sony or a Samsung Android phone, the same icon will be able to integrate with your interface without looking completely out of place.
6. Never miss an emoji
These days, emojis are a powerful tool of communication. A winky face can change the context of a whole message, making it pretty frustrating (and sometimes confusing) if you don't receive the image. Thankfully the next version of the OS will tackle this with something called Emoji Compact support, keeping Android devices up to date with the latest collection of emojis.
When will my phone get Android Oreo?
That is the milliion dollar question. As always, the new OS roll out will be a slow one, but we'll no doubt see the first fresh-faced version on Google's next smartphone, which is expected sometime later this year. As for other manufactuers, it's hard to say. Google hasn't commented on when it will dishing out the goods yet, either.
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