Google has announced that its new mobile software is called Android Oreo.
The eighth version of Google’s operating system, Android Oreo brings with it an improved battery life and multitasking. It limits apps from running in the background to preserve battery and memory, and it lets users perform multiple tasks at once, such as browsing the web and watching a video.
The software has been partly redesigned, with more versatile app icons and 60 new emoji.
Here are the best features and everything you need to know about Android Oreo.
When can I download the software?
Android Oreo is already available to download through Google’s beta programme and is now accessible through the Android Open Source Project. The final version of Android Oreo will roll out to those on the beta programme today.
It is not clear when the software will be available to the wider public, but Google said it has entered the final stages of testing on the Pixel, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
“We expect to start rolling out in phases soon,” it said. Google normally ships its own-brand devices with a pure version of its software. The company is due to unveil the Pixel 2 smartphone later this year.
What devices is it available on and how can I get it?
For those not on the beta programme the wait for wider rollouts begins.
You should get a notification when your update is ready. You can also check by going to Settings > About > System updates > Check for update.
If you don’t want to wait, you can enroll in the Beta programme now at this link. Sign in with the account connected to your phone and you should get a notification almost instantly allowing you to download the software. For more information on how to download it to your device, check out Google’s blog for instructions.
Best features of Android Oreo
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. As well as saving battery, the update will save on memory.
Google said it has also improved the launch time on Android Oreo, with the Pixel phone about to boot twice as fast than when it’s running Nougat.
With most people overwhelmed with the number of notifications they receive on a daily basis, Google is introducing new ways to control how many you see and how they come through. Users will be able to manage each app individually with “fine-grained control”. For example, in news they will be able to select what areas they’re interested in hearing about.
Users can check their notifications by tapping the three notification dots. They can also be swiped away more easily, Google said.
Google has added a number of features to Android Oreo to help users multitask. The first is “picture in picture” display which allows videos to keep playing in a smaller screen while users browse other sites, send a message or make a call. The new feature works with video chat windows and YouTube content.
Google has also made it easier for consumers to use a second screen alongside their Android device with the ability to launch a program on a remote display.
Improved and easier security
A help to those who are fed up of having to type their password out whenever they want to log in to a website or app, Android Oreo has a feature called Autofill that remembers the details for consumers’ most used apps.
Google has also enhanced the security of the Play Store, which will now detect and remove harmful apps automatically. The company said it would scan more than 50 billion apps per day across 2 billion devices running Android 4.2 and later. It has also created a range of Instant Apps that can be accessed without being downloaded.
Find my device
Similar to Apple’s Find my iPhone, Google has introduced a feature that lets people locate, lock and wipe their devices in the event that they go missing.
New emoji and icons
Android Oreo will come with 60 new emoji and a redesign of the current “blob” characters.
It also includes new colour support for app developers and the ability to animate and change the shape of icons.
The new software has a range of other upgrades that improve Wi-Fi connectivity, keyboard navigation and wireless sound.
A list of all the features currently publicised can be found on the Android website.