A few years ago, trying to guess the new dessert for Android’s latest update was something of a teaser for many fans. Things haven’t been that way for the past few releases, with many already coming to grips with the Oreo moniker a few weeks, if not months, back. But today, Google has officially announced the release of Android 8.0, also known as Android Oreo, at its special ‘Eclipse’ event, along with all its features and improvements to look forward to.
We’ve known for years that Google’s naming convention for Android has always been after some type of dessert linked to the next letter in the alphabet, although Android Chief, Hiroshi Lockheimer, recently revealed on Twitter that the names were actually “tasty treats” rather than desserts. At that rate, we could’ve had Android Olive (for those who enjoy that as a tasty treat). Thankfully, the team went with Android Oreo instead.
- Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode – allows native support to enable better multitasking.
- Faster boot times – Google has always released improvement on their OS with each major build, Orea is no different. The improvement has also filtered down at an app layer, allowing for quicker startup for your favourite games and apps.
- Restricted background activities – provides battery saving capabilities, bringing better background prioritisation.
- Contextual press-to-hold options – Android is now able to contextualise copied text, making it easier to copy and paste into different apps. The machine learning capabilities also suggests what apps are most suited to the string of text just copied by the user, such as copying a phone number and allowing for users to call directly once copied.
- Adaptive icons – Google has released a new set of design guidelines for apps to which developers will have to adhere to in order to create a unified style across apps. The design update also allows for new animated icons based on user interactions.
- Boosted audio performance – The Samsung Galaxy S8 was the first Android device to be fitted with Bluetooth 5 and the latest Android OS allows for better usage of the technology. The OS will now also natively support LDAC, Sony’s hi-res Bluetooth audio codec.
- Notification dots – Brings native ‘at-a-glance’ notifications to app icons on the home screen.
- New emoji – Google has replaced the gumdrop emoji style from previous Android version for rounder face icons for Oreo. There are also a few new emojis thrown in (such as starstruck, throwing up, fairy, mermaid, giraffe, wizard and more). This was released with the Unicode update a few weeks back.
- Easter Egg – As always, Google has thrown in a new Easter Egg with its new OS release. This time it is in the form of a new Easter egg mini-game. Hopefully this is not another cat feeder from Nougat.
Unfortunately, there is no set date for the official build of the Android Oreo firmware, although the final build of the beta is available from today via Google’s beta program page. The manufacturer builds, however, may take quite a while to release, especially since only around 15% are currently on the latest Nougat version of Android.