After so many rumors about the name of the Google’s next generation Android OS, Google has finally unveiled the new Android 8.0 Oreo OS in an official event today and has started rolling it to the Nexus and Pixel devices in the beta program. The company has also released the system images for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel and Pixel XL and these can be downloaded from the Android developer page here. Google also confirmed that it has been working closely with the major smartphone companies like Essential, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, Motorola, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Samsung, Sharp and Sony that are now working on upgrading their new and old devices to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of this year.
The Android 8.0 Oreo comes with new features including picture-in-picture, autofill, integrated Instant Apps, Google Play Protect, faster boot time and much more. Following the features and improvements that you will see with your phones running Android Oreo:
- Picture-in-picture lets users manage two tasks simultaneously on any size screen, and it’s easy for apps to support it. (Shown at right)
- Notification dots extend the reach of notifications and offer a new way to surface activity in your apps. Dots work with zero effort for most apps — we even extract the color of the dot from your icon.
- Autofill framework simplifies how users set up a new device and synchronize their passwords. Apps using form data can optimize their apps for Autofill, and password manager apps can use the new APIs to make their services available to users in their favorite apps. Autofill will roll out fully over the next few weeks as part of an update to Google Play Services.
- System optimizations help apps run faster and smoother — for example, in the runtime we added a new concurrent compacting garbage collection, code locality, and more.
- Background limits: We added new limits on background location and wi-fi scans and changes in the way apps run in the background. These boundaries prevent unintentional overuse of battery and memory and apply to all apps — make sure you understand and account for these in your apps.
- Complementary Android Vitals dashboards and IDE profilers: In the Play Console you can now see aggregate data about your app to help you pinpoint common issues – excessive crash rate, ANR rate, frozen frames, slow rendering, excessive wakeups, and more. You’ll also find new performance profilers in Android Studio 3.0, and new instrumentation in the platform.
- Autosizing textview: Use autosizing TextView to automatically fill a TextView with text, regardless of the amount. You can create an array of preset text sizes, or set min and max sizes with a step granularity, and the text will grow and shrink to fill the available TextView space.
- Fonts in XML: Fonts are now a fully supported resource type. You can now use fonts in XML layouts and define font families in XML.
- Downloadable fonts and emoji: With downloadable fonts you can load fonts from a shared provider instead of including them in your APK. The provider and support library manage the download of fonts and shares them across apps. The same implementation also supports downloadable emoji, so you can get updated emoji without being limited to the emoji built into the device.
- Adaptive icons: You can now create adaptive icons that the system displays in different shapes, based on a mask selected by a device manufacturer. The system also animates interactions with the icons, and uses them in the launcher, shortcuts, settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.
- Shortcut pinning: App shortcuts and homescreen widgets are great for engaging users and now you can let users add and pin shortcuts and widgets to the launcher from within your app. There’s also a new option to add a specialized activity to help users create shortcuts. The activity is complete with custom options and confirmation.
- Wide-gamut color for apps: Imaging apps can now take full advantage of new devices that have a wide-gamut color capable display. To display wide gamut images, apps enable a flag in their manifest files (per activity) and load bitmaps with an embedded wide color profile (AdobeRGB, Pro Photo RGB, DCI-P3, etc.).
- WebView enhancements: In Android Oreo, we’ve enabled WebView multiprocess mode by default and added an API to let your app handle errors and crashes. You can also opt in your app’s WebView objects to verify URLs through Google Safe Browsing.
- Java 8 Language APIs and runtime optimizations: Android now supports several new Java Language APIs, including the new java.time API. In addition, the Android Runtime is faster than ever before, with improvements of up to 2x on some application benchmarks.