Android “Nougat” is just barely starting to register on official radars (3% platform share) when the new latest version is already being lined up, in the form of a first developer preview.
The major focus is on improved power efficiency, changes to Notification handling and UI tweaks (involving Picture in Picture displays and adaptive icons), and changes around backing up the device.
Check out the Google Android Developers blog where Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, runs through the new software.
On the new PiP windowing features he writes:
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.
Basically, PIP is a special mode mostly used for video playback. It’s already available for Android TV, but Android O will makes it available on more devices.
Pictured below is “Notification channels let users control your app’s notification categories”
The O Developer Preview includes an updated SDK with system images for testing on the official Android Emulator and on Nexus and Pixel devices (Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C) devices.
If you’re building for wearables, says Google, there’s also an emulator for testing Android Wear 2.0 on Android O.
O is for Oreo?
And of course the next bit of fun is guessing the sweet-based codename for the letter “O”.
Any suggestions? I can’t see beyond Oreo, but no doubt I’m missing the obvious…
And will it be a new Android, version 8, or an extension of Nougat, version 7.x? We shall find out before too long.
Seriously, who can keep up? The handset manufacturers and telcos certainly aren’t interested in supporting older versions of the platform, that’s for sure. It’s a Google or Nexus device, or nothing when it comes to system updates (including security fixes)…
For more context, check out these articles on the Android O preview. See the ever-readable JR Raphael at Computer World (O my! 5 key takeaways from Google’s Android O preview) and Ars Technica (Hands-on with Android O – A million new settings and an awesome snooze feature).