Google just revealed the official name of its new mobile OS: Android Oreo. Google said the update would be available “soon,” although the company did not specify what soon means.
Android Oreo is currently undergoing carrier testing for Pixel phones and the Nexus 5X and 6P. CNET reports the update will also be available for the Pixel C and Nexus Player.
Other phone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, Essential, Huawei, Sony, Nokia, Kyocera, and Sharp will have the feature available for selected phones, and they will either launch with or update to Android Oreo by the end of 2017.
Google says new Android Oreo OS drops ‘soon’
The new operating system was announced as Android O during Google’s annual I/O 2017 developer conference in May. In the conference, Google shared some features of its forthcoming software for phones, tablets, and Android TV. Keep in mind that Apple also decided to launch a new OS, the IOS 11, and experts are now eager to see which operating system is ultimately the best.
Some smartphone manufacturers haven’t confirmed if they will be adding Android Oreo to their devices, like Blackberry. Others, like Motorola, have confirmed the upgrade and are actually excited to integrate the latest OS to their products.
“Once Android O is fully released we will begin working on the new code for our devices – as always, we know upgrades are about getting it right and making sure the phone performance remains the best it can be,” a Motorola spokesperson told TechCrunch.
A spokesperson with HTC confirmed that the U11 would be getting Oreo at some point but noted they hadn’t announced timing yet and that more info will come in the future. OnePlus semi-officially announced its 3 and 3T would get Android Oreo and it’s possible it will also be integrated into the OnePlus 5.
Samsung has yet to make an official announcement too, though it appears that the company will include Oreo into the S8 and the forthcoming Note 8. Sony hasn’t issued an official statement, but experts believe the OS will be part of the Xperia X, XZ, and entirely.
Oreo will have picture-in-picture
CNET says that people should “temper” their expectations, though, as it won’t be completely different from the previous OS. However, Android 8.0 Oreo mostly focuses on improving the software, so it’ll work better and faster and to save more battery.
The OS will have a “picture-in-picture” feature. That means that, for instance, if you’re watching a Youtube video and you need to check something else on your phone, you just have to click on the home button and the video will shrink into a movable window. You don’t have to close your videos anymore to do something on your phone, and you can reopen Youtube or swipe the thumbnail away when you’re done.
The feature, also known as PIP, is already available on the latest Samsung Galaxy phone. Having the PIP feature allows you to play around with the thumbnail by adjusting the size, or moving it elsewhere on your screen. Picture-in-picture will work with Google’s Duo calling app and Netflix, to begin with, and Google confirmed it would also work with Maps in the future.
Oreo also has a feature for new app notifications. Currently, if you get a notification on your Android smartphone, you see the alert at the top of the screen for you to pull down and read. With Android Oreo, you’ll see a dot appear next to an app icon to let you know you have an unread item on such app.
You can press on the dot to expand the message and see read the alert notification. Apple users are already familiarized with that feature, as it is available on the iPhone and iPad, but it’s brand new for Android.
Android Oreo saves battery by restricting background apps
Another feature from Android Oreo is an auto-fill, just like the one in Chrome. So, no more writing your lengthy email and password; with Oreo, you’ll see a prompt to add fills such as your username, password, credit card number, or address. The auto-fill feature supports third-party providers – so if you launch Twitter, for instance, Oreo will suggest your username and password.
Oreo also makes copy-paste much easier: you just long press or double tap anything on a phrase and you can copy whatever information you wish faster. The Android Oreo is also said to run much more rapidly than other OS so you don’t have to wait a lot to perform your tasks on the smartphone.
And possibly one of the most attractive features on Oreo is its battery boost. Oreo is designed to place restrictions on background apps. The OS won’t stop syncing your mail, but it will restrict unused apps that make your battery run out. The OS will also send you an alert to let you know something’s running in the background.