Posted By on 22 Mar 2017



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Google has started rolling out the latest version of Android to the developers. Google is making a developer preview for the next version to be available in March, well ahead of its consumer release for the second year in a row. This one is “O,” following the series and your guess is as good as mine as to what dessert the final version will be named after. It is not available for regular users to try out but developers can begin testing it right away, it’s best for most people to let things stabilize a bit more before they try it out. Developers can download it from the official blog

For O, Google is continuing its trend toward aggressively managing what apps can do in the background (as iOS has long done) to ensure that runaway processes don’t destroy your battery.

As Android VP of engineering, Dave Burke, puts it: “We've put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas:  implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates.”It’s possible that these “automatic limits” could wreak some havoc on  existing apps that assume a more liberal stance toward what they’re allowed to do in the background, so developers will want  to check up on how it works with their particular apps.

Improvements to battery life is a hard thing to judge especially with early versions of the software. So we won’t know whether Google’s strategy here will be effective on most phones for quite some time.

Easier to judge: changes in the notification system in Android. It seems like notifications get tweaked with every iteration of smartphone software, but Android’s approach has generally been better than the competition’s. For O, the big change is that apps can “group” their notifications into categories called “channels.”

 Image: Google
 
 Image: Google

That’s pretty vague, but what it sounds like is that you’ll be able to set what kind of notifications you want from each app from within Android’s main notification settings pane. So if an app offers “high-priority alerts” and “marketing,” you can turn them off directly in Android’s settings rather than digging through the app’s interface.

And speaking of “vague,” Burke also says O has “new visuals and grouping to notifications that make it easier for users to see what's going on when they have an incoming message or are glancing at the notification shade.” We’ll need a bit more clarity before we can know exactly what this all means – or if it’s just random new options for developers that will get used rarely. For something as essential as notifications, it behooves Google not to mess around with the interface too much, unless there’s something genuinely great here.

 Image: Google

Google is also letting app developers create “adaptive icons,” which will change their look and shape depending on what home screen theme the user has opted for. That’s either a sign that theming is going to be a bigger deal than it used to be on Android, or it’s a sign that all those Android icon packs are getting popular but are still too confusing to set up for most users. Let’s go with both.

GIF: Google
 
GIF: Google

Here Are The Features Of Android O:


Notifications Channels: This version includes new notifications channel which lets users create a full customizable channel for each type of notification that they want to see.


Snoozing: This is the new feature that can snooze notification to reappear again at later time. Well, guess what? With the help of this feature users can see important notifications at the same level of importance, they first appeared with.


Notifications Timeout: This feature lets users set a duration after which a notification should be canceled.


Background Limits: With this feature, Google puts additional automatic limits on what apps can do when they are in the background. This feature will save battery life than never before.


Picture In Picture: This feature lets users watch a video which switching to a different app. This feature is similar to what YouTube does once you pressed the back button while watching a video.


Multi-Display: Well, if any activity supports multi-window mode and is running on a device with multiple displays then users can move the activity from one display to another.


Developers will be able to test Android O in a desktop emulator or on one of the following devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C. If you want to try it, you will have to manually download and flash it yourself, rather than sign up for an over-the-air update. That’s for the best, probably: last year the first few developer previews were very much not the sort of thing you’d want to use on your primary phone, and chances are good the same is true this time around.

You can read the complete release from here.

Via: The Verge





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