During the Google I / O 2017, the spokespeople of the Mountain View company presented the main news of Android. The release will be confirmed by the end of the summer. Google has just released the “beta” of Android O, the next version of the operating system for mobile devices, which will be launched by the summer’s end. During this year’s Google I/O event, the engineers of the company, founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, presented the new features of Android O, focusing on the salient features.
The Fluid Experiences Of Android O
With the release of Android O, Google intends to add a series of fluid experiences to the operating system, i.e. some features that make the mobile device more pleasant. The features that Google has presented under the fluid experience umbrella are called Picture in Picture, Notification Dots, Autofill and Smart Text Selection: let’s see what it is.
Picture In Picture (PIP)
In Android 7. x Nougat, Google introduced the ability to tile two Android applications using a multi-window approach. While the feature can come in handy in multiple situations, it’s not always the best solution. Thanks to the Picture in Picture feature, debuting with Android O, users can keep an Android app in the foreground while also requesting the display of the content of another app in a small window.
If you were a user of a launcher like Nova, you would immediately understand what the Android O Notification dots are. Their operation is, in fact, superimposable with the Nova badges. Alongside the traditional notification bar, Android O will show “dots” on the operating system’s Home screen to indicate the apps that need attention.
It is still being determined whether the exact mechanism is also enabled in the app drawer, i.e. in the complete list of installed applications. By holding down the icon for a long time, you can interact with notifications and view them immediately. Password autocomplete ( autofill ) in applications Chrome and any other web browser have long used an autocomplete mechanism that allows you to automatically fill in, for example, login forms with the credentials previously specified by the user.
Android O brings the same feature to all apps installed on the mobile device. This means that if Chrome knows, for example, the login data for Facebook and Twitter, it will automatically fill in the authentication fields in the respective apps. Users have long requested this feature to speed up the use of Android apps.
Finally, therefore, the functionality is brought to its debut even if it will be imperative to manage the mobile device and any password synchronization carefully (see Android functions to be activated or deactivated immediately, Google Android settings, which are the most important? and Synchronize Chrome, what it means to access data from multiple devices ).
Intelligent Text Selection (Brilliant Text Selection )
Copying and pasting text between Android apps is a lot of work. How many times has someone sent you a text containing helpful information, such as an address or business name? How often did you have to copy and paste this information on Google Maps to find the corresponding geographical location? The new feature of Android O for intelligent text selection allows – with a simple “double tap”, to have the system automatically recognize and highlight helpful information.
For example, by double-tapping on a street name, Android O will automatically select the entire address; in the case of a shop’s name, the full company name will be highlighted by choosing a word. The mechanism works very well. Indeed, detecting the type of information selected, the new feature will show the numeric keypad for telephone numbers, the opening of Maps for addresses and so on.
Performance, Security And Battery
For the moment, Google’s technicians have yet to go into much detail on the subject. Still, Android O will focus heavily on three aspects of vital importance: performance, security and battery life. Thanks to Google Play Protect, the Mountain View company intends, for example, to improve the security of applications by performing a thorough scan of Android apps and detecting potentially suspicious behavior.
By not carrying out a specific approval on each app loaded in the Play Store, various applications have – over time – highlighted dangerous behavior for users. Play Protect should be the answer, one more piece than the automatic check carried out by Google when each app is uploaded. Android O will also drastically improve system boot times and use new mechanisms to reduce the impact on the battery life of apps running in the background.
Android Go And Google Lens
Android Go will debut with Android O and will be a significantly “lightened” version of the operating system, automatically activated on all devices with 1 GB of RAM or less. Android Go will allow users to download lightweight versions of Android apps and will do its utmost to minimize the impact on hardware resources: we discussed it in the article Google presents Android Go for ultra-cheap mobile devices.
Android O will also bring with it Google Lens. This new feature leverages the US company’s machine learning algorithms to extract useful information from images and to assist users in their management: Google Lens improves the recognition of image content.
How To Try Android O
The Developer Preview of Android O, as in the case of Nougat, can currently only be tried by users with specific mobile devices. Compared to Nougat, the supported devices are also fewer:
- Nexus 6P
- Nexus 5X
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Nexus Player
- Pixel C
To try Android O, you must join the beta testing program by referring to this page. Since this is not a stable release, you should never install the Android O beta if you have a single device that you use for “productive purposes”.