Google announces Android O Developer Preview

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Just a day after announcing the second beta of Android 7.1.2, Google has made the Android O Developer Preview available for programmers. Here is a quick look at all the new features and improvements in the new version of the OS.

Battery life improvements

Android is now adding background limits which put into action automatic app hibernation rules for implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates. This feature is quite new to the Android ecosystem and Google is encouraging developers to read the official documentation in order to make their apps work as well as possible with Android O.

Notification channels

Google is taking a step in the direction of even further organising the notification shade. With Nougat, the firm added bundled notifications and now Android will also enable developers to separate notifications from a specific app into categories for easier navigation and management of messages.

Autofill APIs

Another new feature are the Autofill APIs which enable the user to download and select an app which can store their personal data and later use it to automatically fill fields in lengthy signup forms.

Adaptive icons

Most OEMs create their own icon sets to further differentiate their devices from the competition. With Android O, Google is aiming to make this process easier and compatible with almost all apps. Adaptive icons will let developers create icons out of two layers – an unchangeable top layer and a background which can be modified without distorting the icon or completely changing its main characteristics.

Picture in picture mode

Android O also adds support for picture in picture mode on mobile devices which enables videos to be shown in a small window overlay while the user is using a separate app. This is another feature that will enhance the multitasking experience on Google’s mobile platform.

Improved connectivity and audio

Android O brings a few new features and improvements in the connectivity department. The platform now supports high quality Bluetooth audio NAN which lets two devices connect with each other using WiFi without the need for an intermediate device like a wireless router.

Keyboard navigation improvements

Using keyboards with Android was never the most pleasant experience but with the new version of the OS, Google is improving keyboard navigation with better support for the arrow and tab keys.