Android O News: Name, Release Date & Features

Android O is the next major version of the OS following Nougat. Similar to Marshmallow, the next version of Android is all about refinements and better user experience. That is not to say it does not come with new features though. It does though compared to the barrage of features that Google debuted with Nougat, they might feel a bit underwhelming.

Android O Features

Let’s have a quick look at some of the key new features in Android O before jumping over to its release timeframe and possible name.

Background Limits

Ever since Marshmallow, Google has been working on making Android more power efficient by imposing restrictions similar to iOS. With Android O, Google is introducing an automatic limit on the number of apps and services that can run in the background of an Android device. This limit will specifically relate to three main activities that an app can do in the background: location updates, implicit broadcasts, and background services.

By limiting apps from continuously asking for your location, Google is hoping to save precious battery life of your device. Similarly, by limiting the background services and implicit broadcasts, Google will be able to keep rogue apps in check from slowing an Android device by occupying precious resources and silently draining its battery. These restrictions apply not only to third-party apps but also to Google’s own apps and services including Google Play Services.

If you are a developer, make sure to check out Google’s documentation on background execution limits and background location limits for more details.

Notification Channels

With Android Nougat, Google gave the notification system in Android a huge revamp. Now with Android O, Google is building on that and offering Notification channels that let users bundle notifications from a specific category of apps into a channel. Here’s how Google explains the feature?

Channels let developers give users fine-grained control over different kinds of notifications — users can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, rather than managing all of the app’s notifications together.

Picture in Picture

Google first debuted Picture in Picture on Android TV with the Nougat update last year. As the name suggests and as seen on iOS 10, Picture in Picture allows one to watch videos in a small windowed form while using other applications. This means that you can continue working a chat conversation while watching a video. The PiP window can be dragged anywhere on the screen and can be resized as well.

Picture in Picture Android N

Autofill APIs

As the name suggests, the Autofill API will allow password managers and similar apps to easily fill login information in other apps without any hacks and workarounds. This should allow password managers to provide a better user experience.

While LastPass also currently offers the ability to automatically fill login information in other apps, the implementation is wonky and hacky in nature. With the new Autofill API though, this will no longer be the case. You can find a video of 1Password for Android making use of the new autofill API in Android O to fill login information in other apps here.

High-quality Bluetooth Audio Streaming

Google is finally getting around to adding support for high-quality Bluetooth audio codec in Android. Contributed majorly by Sony, LDAC is a new audio streaming technology from Sony that provides a richer audio experience.

There are more features in Android O than just mentioned above. Make sure to read all about them below.

Read: Android O Features: All the New and Hidden Features We’ve Found So Far 

Android O Name

Like with previous releases of Android, Google has not yet confirmed the final name of Android O. The final name will only be revealed once the OS is ready for public release which is still a few months away from now. Going by Google’s naming scheme of naming Android after a dessert, Android Oreo sounds like the most plausible name for the final release of Android O. However, if history is anything to go by, the most likely name is the one that is never selected as well. Another possible candidate for the final name of Android O is Oatmeal Cookies or a combination of Oatmeal and a sweet dish. It is possible that Google will also hold a contest like last year to allow users to select the final name of the OS.

Android O Release Date

When Google dropped the first Developer Preview of Android O in March, it also provided a time frame as to when the final build of Android O will be available. The first beta build of the OS should drop in May possibly after Google I/O. The third Developer Preview build with the final APIs will release in June, with the final DP build releasing in July or August.

As for the final release of Android O to AOSP and OEMs, that should happen in Q3. If you are looking for a more specific release date, you will have to wait for Google to make an announcement on that front.

More coverage

Google To Release Android O on August 21

Google To Release Android O on August 21

Google today launched a teaser site hinting at the impending launch of Android O on August 21st, the same day the solar eclipse is happening on Monday. Google had released the final Developer Preview of Android O around three weeks ago.

Android O Developer Preview 4 Released

Android O Developer Preview 4 Released

Google today released the fourth Developer Preview of Android O for compatible Nexus and Pixel devices. This is the last Developer Preview release of the OS before Google releases the final version to the public “later this summer.”

What’s New in Android O Developer Preview 3

What’s New in Android O Developer Preview 3

Google yesterday released the third Developer Preview of Android O for compatible Pixel and Nexus devices. The third DP of Android O finalises the API of the OS, with the official SDK of Android O also being released alongside it.

Android O is Android 8.0, but Remains Nameless

Android O is Android 8.0, but Remains Nameless

When Google hosted its I/O developers conference, it released the first developer preview for Android O soon after.

Android O Developer Preview 3 with Final APIs Released

Android O Developer Preview 3 with Final APIs Released

Google has started rolling out the third developer preview of Android O which finalises the APIs of the OS. This is the second last developer preview release of the OS and squashes most of the bugs and stability issues reported in the previous two DP releases of the OS.

OnePlus 3/3T Confirmed To Receive Android O Update

OnePlus 3/3T Confirmed To Receive Android O Update

In a confirmation that should not surprise anyone, OnePlus founder Pete Lau today confirmed on Twitter that the OnePlus 3 and 3T will be upgraded to Android O. The CEO did not provide any timeframe as to when the handset will be getting the update though. 

You Can Now Pause System Update Downloads in Android

You Can Now Pause System Update Downloads in Android

Google has long offered the option to download OS software updates over Wi-Fi or mobile data in Android. For some strange reason though, the company never really provided an option to pause a software update download once it was initiated.

Android O Allows GPU Drivers To Be Updated From the Google Play Store

Android O Allows GPU Drivers To Be Updated From the Google Play Store

During the Fireside Chat with the Android team at Google I/O, Romain Guy revealed that with Android O, it will be possible to update the graphics driver of an Android device through the Google Play Store.

How To Download and Install Android O Beta On Your Nexus or Pixel

How To Download and Install Android O Beta On Your Nexus or Pixel

Google updated its Android beta program last night with Android O. This means that if you own a compatible Nexus or Pixel device, you can enrol your device into the program to get the Android O DP2 build on your handset right away.

Android O Feature Highlight: Faster Boot Times and Reduced App Loading Times

Android O Feature Highlight: Faster Boot Times and Reduced App Loading Times

At its opening Google I/O 2017 keynote, Google provided some more information about Android O and the changes that it will bring. Among other things, Google says that Android O will be faster than any other version of Android in certain scenarios.