Android 8.0 O is here, with the release of a Developer Preview edition of Google’s mobile operating system. Although some way off being a finished product, the release provides Android developers and enthusiasts with an early look at the software.
Chief among the improvements seen in Android O are better battery life, changes to notifications and deep integration of autofill.
Battery life has been an area of focus for some time now as far as Android is concerned. Following the improvements made in Android 7.0 Nougat, Google is aiming to deliver even better battery performance.
The way that battery life will be extended in Android O is through the implementation to new restrictions on app behaviour. In the new version of the OS, apps will be more heavily limited as far as background tasks are concerned.
Another new feature of Android O is notification channels – a change that will allow developers to effectively categorise notifications.
The purpose behind notification channels is to enable users to have a greater level of control. If, for example, a particular type of notification was not proving useful, then they could simply be blocked.
Although autofill is already supported, Android O will see it better integrated into the OS thanks to new APIs. As a result, it will be possible to select a default autofill app, which will work across the system.
At present Android O is some way off being a consumer-oriented release. There will be a number of updates to the Developer Preview, including both bug fixes and new features, before a widespread roll-out begins.