Affirming its dominance in the tech world with announcing the beta version of “Android O” operating system, Google is celebrating the milestone of reaching two billion monthly active Android devices globally.
On the first day of its annual I/O conference at its Mountain View headquarters in San Francisco late on Wednesday, Google said “Android O” — that will be released later this year — would bring more fluid experiences to the devices as well as improvements to areas of the phone called “vitals” like battery life and security.
“With picture-in-picture, you can seamlessly do two tasks simultaneously, like checking your calendar while planning a party on a Duo video call. And Smart Text Selection improves copy and paste,” the company said in a statement.
“By using machine learning to recognize entities on the screen like a complete address, you can easily select the text you want with a double tap and even bring up an app like Maps to help navigate you there,” it added.
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‘Android O’ is aimed to make phone startup quicker and apps faster, with added optimizations for developers to help prevent your battery from draining.
With an aim to reach out to “the next billions of users” with a new initiative, Google also unveiled Android Go – a new configuration of Android for entry-level Android devices.
The goal of Android Go is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a great smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less of memory.
Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages.
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the latest release of Android
This optimization of the latest release of Android, starting with Android O, to run smoothly on entry-level devices.
It will also consist of specially designed Google apps, like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard-to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data.
And there will be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online while still offering the entire app catalog.
All three of these things will ship together, as a single experience, starting in 2018.
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Google Play Protect
Google also introduced Google Play Protect — a comprehensive set of security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security.
“Play Protect” is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe.
“Play Protect” detects and removes apps that might be harmful.
“And with more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, Google’s machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks,” the company said.
As part of the “Google Play” protect, the company also launched ‘Find My Device’ that allows users to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices, tablets and even watches remotely.
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Confirmed Android O features
Picture in Picture (PiP) mode
As is already seen on the iPad and some bespoke third-party launchers for Android, this would natively allow you to have one supported app remain to lay on top of another separate app.
This is a minor feature, but one that makes multitasking less of a compromise than split-window mode and more of a relaxed experience. Unfortunately, while settings for PiP do appear in the first developer preview, the feature doesn’t seem to be working as intended just yet.
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Faster boot times
While speedy boot times are usually associated with a step-up in hardware. But Google unveiled that Android O will bring those benefits to all phones that run the software.
And it’s not just the operating system that becomes faster to load up, but the apps on your phone can start running faster, too.
Restricted background activities
This is a power-saving feature that de-prioritizes app functions running in the background, which in turn means that your battery is going to possibly last much longer than it currently does on Android Nougat.
Paired with likely improvements to the Doze function that intelligently saves battery during downtime, it’s feasible that Android O could help squeeze an extra handful of hours out of your phone.
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Each new version of Android seems to bring along an update to notifications and O is no exception. Nougat allowed you to take action right within the notification panel and as we’ve seen in the first developer preview, now developers can grant even greater power to users to toggle settings that usually require digging through menu after menu.
Although confirmed, we’ve yet to see this feature in full bloom. The first developer preview shows that the settings have been reconfigured, but these changes seem to be laying the framework for the new tweaks to come down the line.
We’ll likely see Google talk more about this one soon, as it could really make life easier for those who get buried in notifications.
Contextual press-to-hold options
In an e-mail trying to copy an address so that you can paste it into Google Maps? No more, says Android O. By using machine learning, the OS can now recognize which app is best for the string of characters you’re working with. Another example included being able to highlight a phone number and pop right into the dialer.
Adaptive app icons
As the name suggests, Google has introduced strict design guidelines for developers to adhere to that will help to create a unified visual style across more apps.
In addition, these new app icons will animate based on user interaction and…have you seen the animation demo? Look up. It looks awesome, no?
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Boosted audio performance
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the first Android phone to come installed with Bluetooth 5, a technology that will widen the bandwidth and raise the speed limit in the wireless pipeline for your content to travel through and thus, enhance the quality of audio content sent wirelessly between your phone and headphones.
Android is going to get yet another boost
And while many devices will follow suit, audio quality on Android is going to get yet another boost thanks to Android O’s native support for LDAC, Sony’s hi-res Bluetooth audio codec.
In the developer options, we’re already seeing tons of options for tweaking the bitrate for audio and we expect more advancements to come down the line. This one could be a big deal, especially for those holding out on buying the best wireless headphones.
An oldie that’s been knocking around for years on iOS and some third-party launchers, this brings an at-a-glance notification bubble to app icons on the home screen as a native Android feature.
In the notification settings, we noticed that there is a spot that asks if users want to display a badge.
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Google is finally replacing the gumdrop emoji style from older versions of Android and is now making rounder face icons for Google O.
There are also new emoji in the form of starstruck, throwing up, fairy, mermaid, giraffe, wizard and even more options
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