Hooked on to Android Nougat. Wake up as the next version of Android is just round the corner. Google is expected to introduce Android O (8.0) at Google’s I/O developer conference in May. Although the name has not been made official, it could be known as Oreo as Android’s SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer teased the name earlier. The name, features and everything about Android 8.0 have been kept secret and Google has surprisingly done a good job in keeping it that way. After all very few leaks about Android O have emerged, leaving us all by ourselves to guess, discuss and conclude what features the new Android version will bring with it.
As a saving grace, a new report has emerged, which for the first time gives us a kind of detailed look at what Android O features could be. Assigning rumor status to the report, 9to5Google cites an unnamed source who has spilled the beans this time.
While we knew about three features which Google might incorporate in the Android O version – Copy Less, Finger Gestures and improvements to text messaging experience, the latest report adds a few more to the list which are as follows:
- App icon badges for active notifications: Google borrows this feature from Apple which iPhone has had for years. The feature will enable app icons to have badges for active notifications making it easier for users to see the number of notifications for a given app just by looking at the home screen.
- New notifications: The next iteration of Android is reported to bring ‘new notifications’. It could be as simple as a new design for notifications or a totally new and improved notification system which is probably incorporated from the ‘Andromeda’ program which Google has been reportedly working on to migrate Chrome OS and Android OS into one single OS.
- Picture-in-picture mode: This feature was introduced last year for the Android TV during the first Android N developer preview. As this has cropped up again, we believe this time it will make its way to other devices, may be to Android phones and even Tablets. Notably, iPad has been running this feature for long now.
- Adaptive app icons like Google Pixel: Android 8.0 is reported to bring along adaptive app icons. This could be something like the Calendar icon on Pixel phones which shows the current date directly on the app’s icon. Maybe Google is opening up the option to more interesting implementations with Android O.
- Restricted background activities from apps like Chrome 57: Chrome 57, which was launched recently, is noted for ‘stricter throttling policy’ which it does to reduce power consumption. If the same feature makes way into Android O, as far as we understand, it would simply mean better battery life by ‘reducing power consumption of apps running in the background’.
- MediaRecorder API improvements: Improvements in MediaRecorder API section would mean better audio and video quality of saved data. For the uninitiated, MediaRecorder API enables apps to record audio and video.
- Smart text selection with Assistant integration: The new report also confirms a feature we heard of in the previous rumor — Copy Less. Apparently, the next version of Android will be featuring a smart way to copy/paste text between apps, and this will come with Google Assistant integration as well, as per the rumor.
Lastly, the report also suggests that Android O will bring ‘tons of enterprise stuff’ without delving deeper into it.
All in all, things should become clear in May once Google lifts off the curtain off Android O. Although, the Android O features listed above stand chances to be true, it would be wise to take the news with a grain of salt until Google puts its stamp on it.