Android 8.0 Oreo
Hello, Friends! Today, I’m going to take a look at Android 8.0 Oreo Review. Google has officially revealed to the message and released the first factory images. The new release of Android for 2017 and beyond, Android 8.0 Oreo fits somewhere in between these two extremes. Android is pretty stable at this point, so broad sweeping changes are less necessary with every new version.
As a result, the new version isn’t really about big, obvious new features. Instead is the sum of many smaller changes which help make it the most mature and powerful version of Android to date. We’ve been playing with developer previews for months but now, we get to play with the final draft, here, is Android 8.0 Oreo.
Let’s start with the UI changes first, the main interface hasn’t changed all that much everything is still material designed. The theme is still similar and moving around the UI is pretty much exactly the same as Android 7.0 Nougat. The App drawer is still there, the settings menu is still in its usual spots and the quick settings work pretty much the same way those familiar but the system won’t have any trouble getting around.
There are some changes though the largest and most noticeable is the settings menu many of the settings have been renamed, moved around and consolidated in an attempt to make things a little bit easier for instance connected devices is now a single item in the settings menu. And the slide-out drawer is now gone as well in addition menu of the settings menu, sub menu has been redesigned for instance the apps and notifications settings have been vastly simplified as has the display settings.
Most of the stuff can now be seen in one sub menu instead of several and Google did particularly well at making the settings feel less intimidating and we like that a lot.
There are also some UI changes including a slight font change, a slight design change on the lock screen and changes in the notifications. Several applications have new icons and the status bar is slightly altered. These are all exclusively minor but we thought we’d mentioned them anyway. The small tweaks continue with the media notifications. They will now change colour based on the thing that you’re listening to.
Here, you can see the Grateful Dead’s artwork is brown so the notifications are also brown whereas the music bar artwork is black and blue and thus the notification is black and blue. It’s not important but it’s kind of nice.
There are some other small tweaks here and there the quick settings is now a light grey colour. It makes the UI look a little bit cleaner and meshes slightly better with the colours of the settings menu, notifications and the Google Screen. In addition, the settings menu icon, quick settings edit button and the profile button. Now, rests at the bottom of the click settings instead of at the top. It’s a small change you might like it or not.
Speaking of things that people are getting upset about, how about all of those new Emoji. Gone are the popular blobs design in favour of more colourful rounder design a lot of people are upset about how they look others seem to enjoy the new design and considering how subjective something like this is, It can go either way.
Adaptive Icon: –
The last big change is adaptive icons this is a customization feature that allows you to change the shape of all of your icons. There are currently five options and we imagine that more is coming soon enough. We’re also relatively certain that this is only for the pixel launcher right now.
Picture-In-Picture Mode: –
Android Oreo received plenty of new features with the latest update and perhaps the biggest and most noticeable one is the picture-in-picture mode. This puts whatever video you’re watching into a little window that you can move around the screen. This frees you up to do something else in a separate app. It’s a nice multitasking feature but it’s now available on all Android devices and not just Android TV.
Notification Dots & Badges: –
Notification dots and badges are other big feature in Android Oreo. You have seen notification badges before OEM versions of Android along with iOS and now, Android has officially caught up. Notifications dots are also pretty fun, you can long press on app icons to see the notifications, specifically for that app along with some other options. You can also snooze notifications if you don’t want to deal with them until later.
Android Notification: –
Speaking of notifications Android Oreo Now has notification channels. These allow you to let only some types of notifications and while ignoring some others. For instance, in Google Allo, you can leave it on for messages but turn it off for new feature notifications. Google Chrome also has enabled for each website that you allow notifications for and you can ignore them as you so choose. It’s an excellent customization feature.
Smart Text Selection: –
Moving right along another new feature is called Smart Text Selection, Android will now try to determine the context of any text that you highlight. If it’s an address you’ll have the option to open Google Maps or if it’s a phone number you’ll be given the option to call it directly. Unknown entries will get a general web search option. We’re sure this is going to be expanded eventually and it could be pretty fun.
Android Oreo has also revamped installing APKs from unknown sources from now on you’ll give individual applications permissions to download APKs. The system will remember where you got the APK and it will only allow its installation. If it was downloaded from a trusted app, it’s fairly convoluted and difficult to explain but you’ll eventually get used to it.
Under the Hood: –
The biggest features in Android 8.0 Oreo are under the hood, there are tons of things that you can see but it’s there and it wasn’t before. There are the usual array of performance improvements and bug fixes from Android Nougat but it doesn’t stop there.
Android Oreo now supports wide colour gamut for apps that essentially geek peek for HDR. Some devices and apps have this already but it’s easier to implement it on Android Oreo. Keep in mind that your device display has to also support it, you can’t magically make your screen show more colours. It’s a new feature, not magic.
There are also a bunch of new Bluetooth Codecs and Android Oreo and this will be one of the more underappreciated features. The new Codecs include AAC, apt-X, apt-X HD and Sony’s LDAC that means that Android will be natively compatible with the highest end Bluetooth headphones out there. Considering how many OEMs are removing the headphone jack and pushing Bluetooth, use this update makes a lot of sense and we’re really happy that they did it.
Android Vitals: –
Google has also re-optimized how background tasks operate. They will have less freedom to operate in the background than they had before applications will have windows of time to perform actions while the phone is idle. That should dramatically help reduce battery drain while the phone isn’t actively in use. That’s all part of the system called vitals, that will optimize apps, optimize Android improve battery and a whole bunch of other stuff.
It’s great news for people who use a lot of social media apps or other types of applications that like to run in the background. All damn day for no damn reason draining all of your battery life and doing whatever they want that ends with Android Oreo or at least we really hope so.
Google Play Protect: –
Finally, Google Play Protect rolled out just before the official launch of Android Oreo. This one isn’t an Android Oreo specific feature many devices will have it and you can find evidence of this existence in the Google Play Store and parts of the settings menu. You can see the additional info in the security section of the settings.
In this final segment, I will talk about all of the fun things that as developers can do now that you’ll be see eventually. We discussed a few of them in the notification channels with the notification dots and all of that stuff but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The big one that everyone’s talking about is the new autofill API. This will give password managers and other applications better access to login boxes and other input fields in order to automatically fill them with information. That includes Google Chrome for those who use Chrome as a password manager and for manager apps, in general, are going to work a lot better with Android Oreo.
Wi-Fi Aware: –
Another interesting one is called Wi-Fi aware, this allows Android Oreo devices to communicate with each other without actually being connected to a similar network which could be pretty useful in public. We’ll have to wait until some developers use this in their applications in order to check it out.
Most of the new API is fall into three categories, it’s either an entirely new API that adds new features to apps. A new API to help developers play with the newly supported hardware or API improvements to make old stuff much easier.
We’ve outlined most of the biggest new API is like picture and picture autofill notification channels etc. A lot of these features will have to be added into apps by developers before they’ll work properly. A few of the hardware additions include better support for hardware keyboard and mice that include navigation hotkeys for moving around apps that are designed for touchscreen. And this is especially important for Chromebook that now support Android apps.
In addition, Android Oreo will now have better support for multiple displays, computer mice and a whole lot more. Most of the new stuff though is really just making old stuff a lot easier. Google has provided API’s to make text size easier to code adjust margins and padding along with things like enhancements to media players, web view, animation media recording and a lot more. This is definitely going to help small teams of developers and independent developers code better apps.
Android 8.0 Oreo is a pretty extensive update, it actually feels like a larger update coming to this from Android 7.0 Nougat than it was going to Android Nougat from Android Marshmallow. There is a lot of framework being put in place here that should provide a lot of fun stuff in the coming years. We especially like the new notification features, the Bluetooth Codec support, the new adaptive icons and the support for all of the new hardware.
There seem to be a heavier emphasis than usual on cleaning out the junk and smoothing out the rough edges. The quick settings colours put it more in line with the rest of the UI. The background task management has been shored up in tightened. Google Play Protect helps with app security and all of that other stuff. There really isn’t one feature or thing that stands out in particular but Android 8.0 Oreo feels more cohesive than an older version of Android. It wasn’t all puppy, dogs and fairy tales though a lot of people don’t like the new Emoji and there really wasn’t a hallmark feature this year like multi-window last year or doze mode and Marshmallow.
Afterall, picture-in-picture mode was in Nougat as an Android TV feature so even it’s not actually new. Additionally, not all of these features are going to work on all smartphones for instance apt-X, apt-X HD won’t officially be included on the Nexus 5X or the Nexus 6P. it’s not bad updates by any stretch of the imagination but it also wasn’t that big, thankfully most of the new features and background stuff should make it on most devices that managed to make it to Android Oreo. Also since I know you’re going to ask we have no idea when your phone is getting Android Oreo yet.
We’ll be covering a lot of the features, we just talked about an Android Oreo more in depth over the coming weeks and writing about wind phones will be getting their Android Oreo update as we find out.
Android- Introducing New OS 8.0 Oreo: –