Android O Developer Preview released with a focus on battery life

Mar 23, 2017, 01:36

There's only one wallpaper now available from the developer preview, but it's a particulalry stunning shot which looks to have been taken by the ISS - though we're not 100% on that.

While CPU performance and storage space are clearly important factors when choosing a phone, battery life can be the clincher for many people.

Since its launch in 2008, Android has made it to one of the most widely used operating systems across the globe.

What Google does with Android goes a long way toward defining the mobile experience for many users, since according to Strategy Analytics, Android accounted for 88 percent of global smartphone shipments as of late previous year. Quite a lot as it turns out: battery and data saving, improved notifications, new lockscreen shortcuts, customizable navigation bar, and more! More details will be revealed at the Google I/O developer conference set for May.

At this stage, the initial preview of Android O is only available for developers and will only be available through manual download and flash.

The beta update wears the build number NPG47I and it can also be downloaded on Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, but also the Nexus Player.

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On the research side, our Android Security Rewards program grew rapidly: we paid researchers almost $1 million dollars for their reports in 2016. Notifications no longer have a priority assigned to them, the new 7 Importance levels of the channel determining how a notification is displayed and what noise, light or vibration is associated with it. Channels can be grouped across multiple user accounts.

Android O introduces adaptive icons that the system can display in a variety of shapes across different device models and animate interactions with the icons. The system also can show animated interactions in launcher, shortcuts and settings and in the overview screen too. We're working to increase device security updates by streamlining our security update program to make it easier for manufacturers to deploy security patches and releasing A/B updates to make it easier for users to apply those patches. Though the company's main focus with today's announcement was limited to Battery and Notifications, there's a bunch of other stuff like better audio quality via wireless headphones with high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs, as well as Sony's LDAC codec.

The new Android O developer preview targets better battery life and notification channels for apps. This means that on devices with the appropriate hardware, apps and nearby devices can discover and communicate over Wi-Fi without an internet access point. The WiFi connection will also experience improvements and innovations that will allow the interconnection between devices without need of connection to the network.

Autofill framework. Android O introduces a framework that applications can use to save data and autofill forms in order to save users time and avoid repeating form-filling operations. This feature moved the handling of web content into an isolated process.

Consumers using older Android phones won't be able to reap all these security benefits. The feature will also allow for the icons to animate when they are touched. Location, for instance, will only be updated a few times each hour, while background services - programmes which run continuously doing things like checking inboxes while the user is in another app - will now be closed automatically after a short period. Like Facebook, Google is prioritizing mobile because that is where the user action is happening and also where the majority of ad revenue is coming from.

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