Google today released Android O in a developer preview. This software is meant for developers, and it’s an early look at what those developers can expect to find in the full Android O release. The developer preview is the tip of the iceberg, with the primary focus behind-the-scenes updates. We’ll have to wait until Google I/O to see the bigger user-facing updates.
The primary focus of Android O at this point appears to be battery life, with Google changing background limits on apps and what they can do. That means apps will change the way they update location status in the background, as well as other background services. With these changes, developers should be able to develop apps that have less of an impact on battery life.
Notifications are also getting a change, with Google now letting Android O group notifications together. The way that these channels work, and how granular the notifications can be, will be determined by the app developer. There will also be visual changes, which Google says should help users “see what’s going on” when receiving messages or pulling down the notification shade. Users will also be able to snooze notifications, allowing them to get re-notified at a later date if they so wish.
There are also new Autofill APIs, which can be used in apps in Android O. Password management apps will be able to use these new APIs as well, which should allow them to autofill usernames and passwords into apps directly without having to switch back and forth between apps.
Android O will support “adaptive icons”, which can change based on the way the system wants to display them. New icons can also be animated in various parts when directly interacted with. Android O will also support more advanced Bluetooth audio, including high-quality audio codecs. That includes Sony’s LDAC codec, which can transfer much more data over Bluetooth.
There are a variety of other new additions to Android O that developers will be able to take advantage of, beginning today through the developer preview. For those who want to get a public beta, that will more than likely have to wait until this year’s Google I/O.