Google to offer Shortcuts to information on phones

O boy, the developer preview of Android O is here.

It was just one year since Google released the Android N Developer Preview and that took everyone by surprise because Google broke their scheduled timeline by releasing the early preview OS. For instance, the app icon badges were seen on iOS since its debut and the picture-in-picture mode is available on Android TV.

We've known for a while that Google is already working on Android 8.0, which will make its debut at the upcoming I/O developers conference in May.

The update also brings "Notification channels", which are new categories defined by apps for managing notification content.

Android O also introduces notification channels, which enable fine-tuned in-app control of notification settings. However, if you want to test out the beta OS releases for all these devices, you can sign up anytime in the Android Beta Program.

Just like a year ago, Google isn't waiting for I/O to tease its next major Android iteration. To make this possible Google comes with additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. Apps that support PIP will let you continue watching a video even when being interrupted by another app, such as when receiving a call. Nougat had some really impressive power saving features and now, with background limits in Android O, the search giant restricts what apps do in the background, saving some serious amount of juice on the device.

Android O's new notifications are said to be displayed across various devices owned by the user. New icons can be animated in various parts of the interface when interacted with.

"The usual caveats apply: it's early days, there are more features coming, and there's still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us". Android O will also support more advanced Bluetooth audio, including high-quality audio codecs. But, on a positive note, "it's booting", he added. Android O addresses this with a snooze feature which temporarily removes a notification, before reinstating it later at the same priority level.

Because this is a developer preview, Google has also announced several new dev-focused features of Android O. These include font resources in XML, wide-gamut color for apps, WebView enhancements, and AAudio API for pro audio.

  • Arturo Norris