After Nougat comes Android Oreo, the newly unveiled Android operating system in town. Android Oreo was previously code named Android O. With previous operating systems like the Sandwich, Marshmallow, and Lollipop one would have guessed the newest OS would claim a confectionery name.
Android Oreo’s mascot is the popular Android robot with an Oreo-shaped torso and a superhero cape, a statue of which was erected in New York City. The branding scheme is the result of partnership between Google and Oreo-maker Nabisco, and is similar to a deal inked between the search giant, Nestle, and Hershey’s for the release of Android 4.4 KitKat.
The announcement of Android Oreo OS came on Eclipse Day, the same day that Apple released the seventh beta for iOS 11.
New Android Oreo Features
Google promises that Android Oreo is “smarter, faster and more powerful than ever.” Android Oreo, or Android 8.0, comes with the Google Play Protect malware system built in, which alerts you whenever there are malicious apps on your phone.
The OS exerts stricter controls over app installation and has a more prominently displayed security status in settings.
It also automatically regulates the power use of apps in the background to extend your battery life.
The new platform also supports Android Instant Apps, which allows users to run certain apps (e.g. TripIt, Vimeo, the New York Times crossword, and Jet) instantly without installation.
Beyond security enhancements, speed improvements and battery-use optimization, Android Oreo also comes with dozens of new features, including a revamped notification center, picture-in-picture support, Autofill, and Notification Dots.
That last feature should be somewhat familiar to iOS users; it displays dots, or badges, on app icons which you can tap to apprise yourself of updates that you can act on. A 3D Touch-like long tap pulls up more detailed information, including app widgets and the last notification received. You can also snooze notifications for a period of time before they reappear.
Picture-in-picture mode allows you to multitask and playback video content while using other apps, which means you can pull up your schedule and participate in a video conference call simultaneously.
The Autofill feature remembers account login information so that you can quickly fill out forms.
Android Oreo also comes with a new home screen for Android TV, which “organizes video content in rows corresponding to channels, which are each populated with programs by an app on the system”. The channels are published and populated by apps, and users can choose which channels are displayed in their TV home screen.
And last, but certainly not least, the OS does away with Android’s trademark blob emoji. Instead, it comes with redesigned Android emojis along with support for araft of new Unicode 10 emojis, including exploding head, vampire, zombie, hedgehog, giraffe, and fortune cookie.
Android Oreo Release Date
Members of the Android Open Source Project will have immediate access to it. Owners of Google Pixel and Nexus phones (specifically, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C and Nexus Player) who are enrolled in the Android beta programcan also download it.
It’s unclear if or when owners of Android phones will receive the OTA update– Android is extraordinarily slow when it comes to rolling out updates, due to the variety and number of phone carriers, original equipment manufacturers, and third-party companies that comprise the Android ecosystem. According to Google, a whopping 85 percent of Android-powered devices have yet to download Nougat.
Google did note in its press release that it has been “working closely” with hardware makers like “Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony” on a wider release of Android Oreo-compatible devices by the end of the year.