On August, 21 2017, Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform–and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed.
Leaving aside the cosmetic changes to things like the Quick Settings or the reshuffling of the Settings menu, there have been lots of improvements under the hood which occasionally surface somewhere in the user interface.
Here are some top new features in Android Oreo 8.0
- Picture-in-Picture mode. Android Oreo allows activities to launch in picture-in-picture (PiP) mode. This is a special type of multi-window mode which is mostly used for video playback. PiP mode was already available for Android TV but Android Oreo makes the feature available on mobile. Now you can more effectively “multitask” while you’re really just goofing off.
- Autofill Framework. It is designed to make filling out forms, such as login and credit card forms, much faster and easier. Both new and existing apps can work with Autofill once the user enables it under Settings > System > Languages & input > Advanced > Input assistance > Autofill service. Developers can optimize their apps for Autofill by providing hints to what a given field should contain (e.g. username or credit card number) as well as marking which fields are important for Autofill. With Android O, completing forms and passwords just got a whole lot easier.
- Learn about a users’ sharing preferences to better understand which are the right apps to share with. For example, if you take a selfie then Android Oreo could suggest a social media app; if you take a photo of a receipt, Android Oreo can suggest an expense-tracking app; and so on. Android Oreo automatically learns all these patterns according to users’ personalized preferences, meaning you’ll have an OS learning how you do things to save you time.
- Per app disk space quota for cached data – When the system needs to free up disk space, it will start by deleting cached files from apps that have exceeded their allocated quota. This means that well-behaved apps which keep their cached data under the allocated amount will be among the last on the system to be cleared when necessary.
- Wi-Fi Aware, also known as Neighbor Awareness Networking or NAN. Devices with the right hardware can discover and connect directly to each other via Wi-Fi Aware. These networks are made of clusters of neighboring devices. The clustering behavior is device-wide, i.e. apps have no control over it, and is managed by the Wi-Fi Aware system service. Android Oreo supports the mechanism for finding other devices in the vicinity (i.e. device discovery) as well as the ability to create a bi-directional Wi-Fi Aware network connection, all without using a “traditional” Wi-Fi access point.
Are you already running Android 8.0 Oreo? What do you think? If you aren’t, are you looking forward to it? Please let me know in the comments below.
Google Android is pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player. You can learn more at android.com/oreo.