Google is constantly working on new OS features and developments, going through the alphabet to identify their newest system. The most recently developed system, Android O (as of yet unnamed), is now available for developers, and information about what the system looks like is leaking to the public.
So far, only developers using Nexus and Pixel platforms can use the app, and as of now Google plans to release it only to public with those platforms after it goes through development testing. However, those interested in a preview of what’s to come can download the system and take a look for themselves.
On the list of new features: an extended battery life, an improved notification and alert system, homescreen badges a la Apple’s iOS and other minor features like animated icons, improved Bluetooth options, and shortcut buttons which have been added to the lockscreen.
The improved notification system now allows you to “snooze” a notification, so that it will remind you again in 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. It also allows you to customize the notification control center and be grouped into categories based on what app they come from, preventing you from dealing with a long and overwhelming list of notifications covering every app available. Categories can be subjects like sports news vs political news or dating apps versus messages from others, according to Wired. These notification channels can allow you to easily scan all the notifications you receive without hunting through them individually.
The lockscreen shortcuts can be individually selected based on what you most frequently need to access, instead of being limited to the standard Google Assistant and Camera apps. This feature, long available on jailbroken Androids, has finally been added based on customer demand for improved and more convenient customization. There are other cool little features, like the Picture-in-Picture display which allows you to have two apps open at once.
The battery life drainage has been vastly improved by placing caps on “implicit broadcasts” from draining your battery, and apparently comes with a usage alert feature that will let you know if a particular app is draining your battery faster than it should.
This new operating system promises to help standardize how Android works across different devices, including the multitude of tablets and devices that are quite a tablet or a phone, with details such as what the up arrow on the keyboard does now being changed for consistency. It comes with a password Autofill API, which it was lacking before, and a full range of customization options for all sorts of control centers on your phone. There are more fonts and color options available in the customization as well.
Although all the new features are promising, Google is likely to make some significant changes and additions to the operating system as it goes through developer testing, or canary testing as Google refers to it, before it is officially launched for general use. According to Beta News, Android O is expected to drop sometime in the third quarter of this year.