Just like last year, Google isn’t waiting for I/O to tease its next major Android iteration. Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google took to the Android Developers Blog on Tuesday to announce that the next version of their operating system will be called Android O and developers can now start downloading (manual and/or flash) its first Preview for testing and building apps around it.
The first Android O Developer Preview, which is ‘strictly’ not intended for daily or consumer use, is available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C devices. “If you’re building for wearables, there’s also an emulator for testing Android Wear 2.0 on Android O,” Burke said.
“I’m excited to share a first developer preview of the next version of the OS: Android O. The usual caveats apply: it’s early days, there are more features coming, and there’s still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us. But it’s booting,” Burke added.
Since last year, Google has been gung-ho about developer feedback, which is why it launched N Preview early. Android O has been given a similar treatment. The reason, as usual, is that Google wants to gather as much feedback as possible from devs before going full commando with O later this year. Of course, we can expect the Mountain View company to out a big reveal at I/O in May. Only difference is unlike say a couple of years ago, many of us would already know what to expect from Google’s OS in the days to come now more than ever.
At this point of time, it seems O is largely focused on building up on N which isn’t surprising. But, at the same time, because N wasn’t a drastic overhaul of M, O is expected to bring in huge changes.
For now, the first Android O Developer Preview brings along background limits to further improve battery life, granular notification control, adaptive icons and more.
“Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android O puts a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance. To make this possible, we’ve put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. These changes will make it easier to create apps that have minimal impact on a user’s device and battery,” Burke further said.
“Channels let developers give users fine-grained control over different kinds of notifications – users can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, rather than managing all of the app’s notifications together.”
Adaptive icons, meanwhile, are customisable icons that also have an animated angle to them.
The first Android O Developer Preview also brings autofill APIs, a wide colour gamut for apps, keyboard navigation and more.
It must be remembered that this is just one of the many Previews of Android O and Google “plans to update the preview system images and SDK regularly throughout the O Developer Preview” before rolling out Android O one and for all. There’s a lot to look forward to including the next batch of Pixels.
Source: India Today