5 Things You Should Take Away From Google’s Android O Preview

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Google’s upcoming mobile software Android O has been designed to extend battery life and let users perform multiple tasks at once, the developer preview reveals.

The internet giant says it is putting “a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance” with Android O.

To do this, the internet giant is introducing new limits that prevent apps running in the background from sucking all of the charge out of a device’s battery. It has also created new multitasking features and greater controls over notifications.

Here’s everything you need to know about Android O.

#1 Improved battery life

Android improved battery life

To enhance the battery life of Android devices, Google is blocking apps from carrying out certain tasks when they’re running in the background. The restrictions include an app reacting to “implicit broadcasts”, or changes on a device such as Wi-Fi turning on or a picture being taken.

It will also limit some background services and location updates when an app isn’t in use. They have put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. These changes will make it easier to create apps that have minimal impact on a user’s device and battery.

#2 Limited notifications

Android O notifications

With most people overwhelmed with the number of notifications they receive on a daily basis, Google is introducing new ways to control the number you see and how they come through. Users will be able to manage each app individually with “fine-grained control”.users can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, rather than managing all of the app’s notifications together.

Android O also adds new visuals and grouping to notifications that make it easier for users to see what’s going on when they have an incoming message or are glancing at the notification shade.

#3 Tons of other features

Android O features

Android O’s list of features goes on and on.

Autofill APIs will allow users to select a designated autofill app, “similar to the way they select a keyboard app.” This should make password managers work a lot better, without the need for janky copy/paste solutions or hacks to the keyboard framework.

Wide-gamut color support for apps will allow imaging apps on devices with wide-gamut color displays to open wide-gamut images with the right color profile. This isn’t HDR, which offers more (and less) brightness, but wide-color, which offers more colors.

Font resources in XML will make fonts a “fully supported resource type” in Android O, allowing developers to add a custom font to an app just as easily as they add images or text. With great power comes great responsibility, developers. Please don’t use crazy fonts!

#4 Developer preview

Android O developer preview

The current developer preview version of Android O is just that — a developer preview. And an extremely early one, at that.

Google is upfront about the fact that this release is intended for developers only and not for consumer use. It’s also not recommended for any sort of device that you depend upon for day-to-day use — and for good reason: The software in its current state is unfinished, rough around the edges, and ridden with bugs.

That’s not a knock on Google or its Android development team by any stretch of the imagination; it’s simply par for the course when you’re dealing with an early preview version of something still months away from its actual ship date.

#5 Android O release date

Android O released date

It isn’t 100% clear at the moment, but Google has promised to deep-dive into Android O features at Google I/O 2017, so we’re expecting to learn more at that time.

Google’s developer conference will take place from May 17-19, giving Big G more than a month’s worth of developer feedback on the current version of Android O.

Expect to see Android O exit developer preview mode and enter public beta thereafter.

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