Google launches a new version of Android every year. Last year it was Android Nougat and this year it is Android 8 aka Android O. Although it’s not a massive update to the previous version there are some noticeable features in Android O.

Already developer preview is out for testing. It was first released as Alpha Quality developer preview then as beta Quality which was second developer Preview. The third developer Preview was released on June 8, 2017.

In this post I will walk you through some cool new features in Android O which you may experience by the end of 2017.

Android O aka Android 8 Features

1. Notifications

Notification Channels

Android O introduces Notification Channels which helps in creating unique notifications for each app. User can control notification light importance, color, sound, vibration and notification display on the lock screen.

Notification Badges

These are also called Notification Dots. Android O displays notification badges or dots on the respective app icons. By long pressing on the app icon you can see the notifications associated with that app.

Just like on the notifications drawer you can swipe or click on the notifications. You can turn off badges for notification channels or apps in the Settings.

android o notification badges

More Notification Features

You can now set notification background color manually. Also you can snooze notifications for certain duration and reappear them. You can hide notifications for certain duration.

2. Autofill Framework

Whenever you fill a form online through any browser, the browser remembers the filled data. Next time when you try to fill the same details browser will suggest the saved data for particular fields which is Autofill.

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Now Android 8 supports Autofill feature in apps which remembers the filled and suggests it next time when you are doing the same task.

3. Picture-in-Picture mode

Android introduced Picture in Picture PiP mode in Android O. The ability to use the other apps while the video is still playing in a small window is called picture in picture.

4. Pinning Shortcuts

Usually when you long press on app icons it will show quick actions you can take on the app. Now you can create shortcuts to these quick tasks. You literally create an app icon for that shortcut.

5. Maximum Screen Aspect Ratio

Apps that are developed for Android 7 or lower have the default aspect ration of 1.86. But in Android O based on the device aspect ratio the app adjusts the icons, font and format till the maximum aspect ratio. 

6. Smart Text Selection

Till Android Nougat when you select a text you can only see Select All, Copy and Paste options. In Android 8 you will see custom options based on the text you selected.

For example if you select a number it will show dial option. If you select an address it will show option to open the address in Google Maps and get the directions. If you select an email id it will show Send Email option.

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7. Smart Sharing

Till Android 7 whenever we want to share something it suggests the most used or the recent app we shared content on.

But in Android 8 based on the type of content you are sharing software will suggest you the suitable app. If you trying to share a picture it will show social media or messaging apps. If you are sharing an expense bill it will show you expense tracking app.

8. Pointer Capture

The ability use to mouse while playing a game is a bliss. Starting from Android O introduces one such feature called Point Capture which helps in pointing at specific view.

9. Android Go

Similar to YouTube Go (a lighter version of YouTube app) Android introduced Android Go the lightweight version of Android O. Android Go is targeted to developing countries and low-end phones.

10. Wi-Fi Aware

Android O now supports Wi-Fi Aware or Negihbor Awareness Network. When a device is set discoverable, the other devices in the Wi-Fi network can connect it and form a network cluster.

When Will You Receive Android O?

As always Google devices receive the Android O first. So Pixel devices are the first to receive Android 8. Later Nexus devices will receive the new update. Other smartphone companies are yet to reveal the roadmap to Android O.

Hope all the major smartphones receive Android O update by the end of 2017. So what do you think about Android O? leave us a comment below 🙂


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