Android 8.0 Oreo is finally here after a series of 5 different Android Developer Preview builds. Following is the list of 10 new major and exciting Android Oreo features that will make the user-experience even better.
You can already install Android Oreo on your Nexus or Pixel device. But if you own a device from another OEM, you might have to wait for a bit until the update finally reaches your phone. So here is a list of exclusive Android Oreo features that you should look forward to. These will help you make the most out of your device. So when you are done with this article, you will know what to expect from the incoming update.
Follow the tutorial – How to Install Android Oreo 8.0 on Nexus and Pixel
Android Oreo Features – List of 10 Major & Exciting Features
This is a feature that has already seen the dawn for Android TV users running Nougat. With Android Oreo, it has finally arrived to the smartphone and tablet devices too.
So what is PIP or Picture-In-Picture mode? Just like you thought, it allows a user to see two apps at once on the screen. Yes, that’s probably split-screen, but it exclusive to the video playback content. It is a seriously great feature for the multi-taskers. So while you’re playing a video on your device, you can just tap the home button and the video player window will be minimized to the edge of the screen and continue playing while you handle other stuff/apps.
The feature currently works with some popular apps including YouTube and VLC, Google Chrome. If your favorite video player/streaming app has not updated to the latest API to use this feature, it is the best time to request for it to the particular app developer.
Turn ON WiFi Automatically When Near Known Network
Something to really love in Oreo is its capability to switch ON WiFi whenever you are near a saved/known network. So you can freely turn OFF WiFi when not using it. It will automatically save battery by not letting it scan for networks all day. The next time you are near a saved network, Oreo will automatically enable WiFi when you are close to a known access point. The feature only works for known locations where you have previously connected to a network.
To enable it, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi preferences and switch the “Turn on WiFi automatically” toggle. Once you have enabled the setting; the next time your device is in the location of a saved/network, it will automatically switch on WiFi and connect, thanks to Android Oreo.
Improved Battery Life
Google has been giving its best to introduce battery tweaks and improvements in every major Android release. It implemented Doze that intends to put your phone into deep sleep while it is idle, thus saving you from any battery hogs. It was later in Nougat that Doze was much more functional and now in Oreo, with several changes, it just makes sure to do its job to save battery.
Oreo also inaugurates the new feature known as Background Limits. We are familiar with intensive apps and games that tend to consume resources heavily even when they run in the background. So Background Limits in Android Oreo controls what actions an app could perform in the background and limits them to preserve the battery life.
To sum up, the new update is concentrating highly on saving your phone’s battery at every possible instance.
An aesthetic feature that accompanies Oreo is Adaptive Launcher Icons. These are here to make sure that developers of various OEMs could make use of them for a better visual experience. The icon designers would only need to two different app icon layers. The first one would be a transparent foreground and the other will be a solid background layer.
The system then takes these layers to create different icon models depending upon the launcher definitions. For example – Square, Circle, Square, or Teardown. The step has been taken so that app icons could look more uniform across different OEM models.
Better App Sideloading with “Install unknown apps”
You might be well aware of the “Unknown sources” setting that has been in existence ever since the early versions of Android. The settings allowed you install APKs from sources apart from Google.
Android Oreo makes these apps from other sources more secure permission model that controls app installations from sources other than first-party (Google Play Store). It is known as “Install unknown apps”. So now when you download and install an APK via Chrome, you will need to grant it permission to do so. The same goes if an existing app on your system tries to install another companion app.
Per-app settings are required for every such app. You can find the new option under Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Install unknown apps.
Text Selection Gets Smarter
We saw the text selection mechanism get a push in Nougat. But Oreo just makes it even better. With the new update, the text selection will intelligently perform actions for any selected text. So if you select an email address from a text, the selector will automatically recommend you to open it using the default Email app on your system. The same goes for a phone number, or map locations, and other recognized texts.
The new text selection makes it easier for the user to perform actions by taking out an extra step of copying to clipboard and pasting it elsewhere on a specific app.
The Autofill Framework
We use auto-fill services in apps like 1Password, LastPass, or other password and wallet services. These services help us by remembering our private credentials for us. But in either scenario, you would still have to manually add them to forms or fields.
Android Oreo brings the Autofill Framework that makes such situations way more easier. So now when you are onto filling a form or entering login details with your private information like Credit cards, login password, etc, you will instantly be allowed to fill in the information without having to manually enter it. The input field will automatically detect the auto-fill service and will allow you to do the job in a single tap.
To manage the default autofill service, go to Settings > System > Language & input > Auto-fill service. You can then select between a third-party auto fill service or Google’s own.
Notification Channels, Dots, & Snoozing Ability
Oreo implements new notification categories known as “Notification channels” that allows managing of notifications much more easier and granular. The work is done on the developer-end and they categorize their app’s notifications so that we can easily choose which ones are important and which aren’t. So you get to have more control on which notifications will be displayed. Take an example of “Reply” category, that will hold off all the notifications that offer the replying ability (Replying to an SMS or Messenger text) and so on.
Notification Dots are what you think they are. These are dots that are visible on an app icon if it has an unread notification. You can simply tap on the app’s notification dot and view the information it has to offer. Then you can simply swipe away the notification from the app shortcut even without accessing the Notification bar.
You can also swipe a notification slightly and snooze it for a specified time frame without having to browse through settings. This could be done directly from the notification bar while you are viewing one.
Camera Improvements & Better Bluetooth Audio
Android Oreo uses Sony LDAC codec for playback of high-resolution audio over a wireless connection like Bluetooth. LDAC has several improvements over the generic Bluetooth A2DP protocol that has been used up till now.
With Oreo, the camera application is seeing much improvements for better usability. You can easily switch from Photo to Video mode or vice-versa using a dedicated button. The Camera app also offers a double-tap function to zoom in 50% (Tip: Instead of taking a photo by zooming, take a normal photo and crop it later, you will get better quality)
A More Visual Progress Bar
Since as long as we can remember, the package installer screen hasn’t seen much changes apart from color schemes. With Oreo, the progress bar now looks much more refined and realistic, kicking the indefinite bar out of the scene.
While you install an APK, you might want to just cancel the process because you mistakenly selected the wrong file. In such a case, there is a ‘CANCEL’ button near the right-bottom edge of the screen to cancel an ongoing installation.
Google Play Protect
Android Oreo comes with Google Play Protect. It is a service by Google that makes sure that your device and the apps installed on it are secure. It adds an extra layer of security when apps come to consideration. The security system runs is always running and scanning your device to keep it and the apps safe.
All the Android Apps that are published on the Play Store go through several security tests to make sure that they do not violate your device’s security. You can read more about Google Play Protect.
There are several other features that make the whole Oreo experience better. These include – Redesigned Settings and Quick Tiles, New Battery menu, a large list of Emojis, etc.
What do you think about the features in the latest Android version? Let us know and share your experience by commenting below.