Faster, Higher and Stronger”, so the Olympic Games motto goes. This aptly describes operators in the Tech industry where there is, has been and always will be an unending battle to dominate the market by major brands (Players). Speed, durability, sleek designs and user interface flexibility across mobile platforms have become important determinants of adoption and acceptance levels of mobile devices in today’s global technology market. The Android OS by Google is arguably the most versatile and most widely used Operating System in the mobile devices ecosystem.
The latest Android Operating System, Android 8.0 OREO – (codenamed Android O during development) – is the 8th major version of the Android Operating System. OREO was released to the public on August 21, 2017. It is available on Pixel and Nexus devices which are Google’s flagship devices and set for a later release date for non-Google mobile devices.
How soon you get the new Android 8.0 OREO depends on a number of factors such as; the brand/manufacturer of your device (The first phone released with Oreo was Sony XZ1), then when it was manufactured, your region and how early your Brand releases updates.
Boot Time Speed
A device running the Android 8.0 Oreo boots twice as fast as those on NOUGAT (Android 7.0) according to tests run on the flagship Google Pixel devices.The latest OS is optimized for speed while eliminating usually frustrating boot time lag. Users can get on their favourite apps in no time while powering up their devices.
This is an interesting feature of the Oreo that minimizes background activity of the least used apps, thereby reducing data consumption while extending battery life. This means apps will have less time to operate in the background than before. A time window ensures only essential apps perform important background tasks when the phone screen is idle. This results in extended battery life. This OS-level optimization greatly improves the overall applications performance, stability and user experience, especially when interacting with social media applications and other apps that are prone to running background tasks.
This is an API (Application Programming Interface) that gives password managers and other apps better access to login boxes and other input fields. The aim is to automatically fill required information in such fields and boxes, thereby saving time. Users who rely on Google Chrome as their password manager and other password apps will find this quite interesting. This feature lets users logged into their favourite apps at “Supersonic Speed” by remembering login details – all with the users’ permission of course.
With this feature dubbed “the power of god in the palm of your hands”, users can now view and interact with multiple Apps at once. The picture-in-picture feature of Oreo takes multitasking to another level entirely. Picture-in-Picture allows the user to minimize whatever video they are watching and move it around to a satisfactory point on the screen, while they interact with another app. It is similar to what obtains on the YouTube app where a video being played can be minimized or dragged to a corner of the screen while searching for another. The picture-in-picture feature is probably the biggest addition to the Android OS platform, it is aptly compared to having super strength and laser vision – who wouldn’t want that?
This is an innovation by Google to increase the consistency of the Android experience across devices from different Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) – many of whom use different icon shapes to Google. With this feature, users have the luxury of choosing which shape they like best for their app icons: system default, square, round, rounded square, squircle or teardrop (like the Allo and Duo icons).
This enables users easy access to new notifications on apps without necessarily opening the app. Users can long press on an app icon to view the notification specifically for that app along with some other options. Users can also snooze notifications they do not want to attend to immediately. They can also tap on the notification dots to quickly view what’s new and easily clear them by swiping away. Notifications channels let you allow some notifications while ignoring others.
For example, on Google Allo, you can turn on notifications for messages but turn off new feature notifications. Also, on Google Chrome notification dots is enabled for each website. Depending on their preference, the user may turn on notifications for some websites while ignoring notifications from some others.
Security (Google Play Protect)
This feature was rolled out just before the official launch of Oreo and not entirely restricted to devices that run on Android Oreo. It prompts the user about the safety certification of an app by the Google Play Team. This feature keeps your device and data safe from dangerous apps by scanning over 50 billion apps per day – even apps that are yet to be installed.
Previously, downloading from unknown sources used to be a blanket action, now each app being queued up for download on any other platform but the Google Play Store must have permission granted on a case-by-case basis.
This Feature Automatically connects you to high-quality Wi-Fi and secures it with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) back to Google. This setting is disabled by default but can be adjusted via a switch accessible through Wi-Fi preferences in settings. This one is the for the Free Wi-Fi lovers.
Android Instant Apps
Also known as AIA. This feature will massively reduce the need to keep occasionally used apps, thereby freeing up useful storage space for other frequently apps, photos or music files. The user is able to access all the benefits of app-based activities via the web browser. This means you get full access to apps via your web browser without installing them.
Imagine social media without emojis, that is a hard one isn’t it? Well, you can share the feels with a fully redesigned emoji set which includes over 60 new emojis. Android 8.0 OREO has officially replaced the blob emoji with the new circular one. These new emojis have a much more 3D feel and are similar to emojis on Facebook or Apple’s IOS.
Also, there is the Android “Easter Egg” and emoji as it was shared in the final Android O developer preview. The Android Oreo Easter Egg is an Octopus that floats around the screen, changes sizes when the device is rotated and can be dragged around the screen.
The Android 8.0 Oreo is no doubt packed with amazing and cool features targeted at improving user experience and maximizing device performance, as well as an interesting user interface. This new version surely scores many points for Google’s Android in the battle for OS supremacy in the mobile technology space.