Google has made the next version of the Android OS – Android O – official. The company has released developer preview images for Android O, also the factory images for the first Developer Preview of the new Android version is now available. It’s meant only for developers, Android Beta is not currently available for Android O. At this point it doesn’t have a name, Google mentioned Android O. Android O stable release will be available in Q3 2017.
Android O developer preview is now available for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C devices on the Android developer website here. For wearables, there’s also an emulator for testing Android Wear 2.0 on Android O.
Android O, the next version Android will bring new power and performance optimizations along with many new features include in your app — notification channels, PIP, adaptive icons, font resources in XML, autosizing TextView, and many others. Google highlights some of the new features in Android O in it’s official post:
- Background limits: Android O puts a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance. Additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. This will help create apps that have minimal impact on a user’s device and battery.
- Notification channels: Notification Channels let developers give users fine-grained control over different kinds of notifications — 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.
- Snoozing: Users can snooze notifications to reappear at a later time. Notifications reappear with the same level of importance they first appeared with. Apps can remove or update a snoozed notification, but updating a snoozed notification does not cause it to reappear.
- Autofill APIs: Android users already depend on a range of password managers to autofill login details and repetitive information, which makes setting up new apps or placing transactions easier. Android O adds platform support for autofill. Users can select an autofill app, similar to the way they select a keyboard app. The autofill app stores and secures user data, such as addresses, user names, and even passwords. For apps that want to handle autofill, new APIs are added to implement an Autofill service.
- PIP for handsets and new windowing features: Picture in Picture (PIP) display is now available on phones and tablets, so users can continue watching a video while they’re answering a chat or hailing a car. Apps can put themselves in PIP mode from the resumed or a pausing state where the system supports it – and you can specify the aspect ratio and a set of custom interactions (such as play/pause). Other new windowing features include a new app overlay window for apps to use instead of system alert window, and multi-display support for launching an activity on a remote display.
- Font resources in XML: Fonts are now a fully supported resource type in Android O. Apps can now use fonts in XML layouts as well as define font families in XML — declaring the font style and weight along with the font files.
- Adaptive icons: To help you integrate better with the device UI, you can now create adaptive icons. Adaptive icons support visual effects, and can display a variety of shapes across different device models. The system also animates interactions with the icons, and them in the launcher, shortcuts, Settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.
- Wide-gamut color for apps: Android developers of imaging apps can now take advantage of new devices that have a wide-gamut color capable display. To display wide gamut images, apps will need to enable a flag in their manifest (per activity) and load bitmaps with an embedded wide color profile (AdobeRGB, Pro Photo RGB, DCI-P3, etc.).
- Connectivity: Android O Supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs such as LDAC codec, new Wi-Fi features as well, like Wi-Fi Aware, which is based on the Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN) specification. On devices with the appropriate Wi-Fi Aware hardware, apps and nearby devices can discover and communicate over Wi-Fi without an Internet access point.
- Keyboard navigation: Keyboard navigation use within the apps. In Android O more reliable, predictable model for “arrow” and “tab” navigation that aids both developers and end users.
- AAudio API for Pro Audio: AAudio is a new native API that’s designed specifically for apps that require high-performance, low-latency audio. Apps using AAudio read and write data via streams.
- WebView enhancements: An optional multiprocess mode for WebView that moved the handling of web content into an isolated process. Multiprocess mode will be enabled by default and API to let your app handle errors and crashes, for enhanced security and improved app stability. As a further security measure, you can now 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.