Google Android operating systems are always named after sweet treats, and in alphabetical order. So far we had Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat. The latest OS update is Oreo.
Here are some of the key features you should look forward to from Android Oreo when it rolls out to your smartphone.
The more we rely on our smartphones, the more our mobile security becomes important. That’s why it great to see Google Play Protect, a new service suite that will scans your apps form threats, and constantly checking for the latest risks, which will be found and detected via machine learning. If such an app is found on your device and Google says the feature can scan more than 50 billion apps per day it will delete the dangerous app from your handset or tablet.
Battery life is always a big concern, which is why Google often makes improvements with new iterations of Android.
The latest version of Android Oreo is no different, with Google increasing the automatic limits on what apps can do in the background in a number of key areas.
Google is also introduced its new picture-in-picture functionality, which is probably one of the most useful changes incoming. This feature would allow users to continue watching videos on a small virtual screen while getting stuff done within other apps. Google also says that apps will be able to put themselves in picture-in-picture mode.
Android Oreo allows users to see notifications they’ve missed without pulling down the drop-down menu from the top of your screen. Apps with missed notifications will sport a badge that draws its color from the apps icon, so you can quickly scan your home screen to check out the state of affairs
Google gives you rounder emojis in Android Oreo that are more akin to what you’ll find on iOS. Several of the emojis that illustrate different objects have also been tweaked, so you’ll have numerous choices to explore the next time you want to say what you need with more than words. Google promises 60 new emojis in Oreo.
Google is also hoping to save your some time, courtesy of Autofill APIs. This will allow your favourite password manager apps to work with the Android operating system, so you can access them just like you would a third-party keyboard.
Smartphone displays are constantly improving, and OLED panels are more abundant than ever – but software support needs to be available too. Google promises that the makers of imaging apps will now be able to make better use of high-end displays, especially with handsets that feature panels capable of supporting a wide colour gamut.
Google is also set to add Sony’s LDAC codec, which has been donated to Android by the Japanese tech giant. This should improve upon the Bluetooth A2DP protocol currently used today.
Google is spending some time reworking the camera app, offering a new double-tap feature that lets you quickly get to 50% zoom.
There’s also a new dedicated button that lets you switch between photo and video modes; previously, users were forced to swipe, which some may have found unintuitive.
Once Android Oreo hits your phone, expect improved battery life, thanks to Google’s Vitals initiative. Google’s adding what it calls “wise limits” to create automatic caps for what apps can do in the background. These limits will curtail excessive use of background services and location updates, so your apps won’t be able to do too much damage to your battery when you’re not using them.