Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Google release Android O to developers

Google has announced the first developer preview of the next version of Android OS called Android O. The preview build will give Developers earlier look at the latest OS so that they can start to make their apps compatible with the new APIs and design guidelines. Google notes that the build is not intended for daily use as it includes plenty of bugs and various performance and stability issues, since it is in early beta stages.

Android O brings a couple of new features, and Google promises to add more feature in the coming developer previews. The latest iteration of Android includes the following features:
Background limits: To improve battery life, additional automatic limits will be put on apps running in the background in three main areas — implicit broadcasts, background services and locations updates. These changes will help developers create apps that have minimal impact on a device or battery.

Notification channels: Android O also introduces notification channels, which are new app-defined categories for notification content. 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 togethr. Android O also adds new visuals and grouping to notifications that make it easier for users to see what's going on when they have an incoming message or are glancing at the notification shade.

Autofill APIs: Android users already depend on a range of password managers to autofill login details and repetitive information, which makes setting up new apps or placing transactions easier. Now users can select an autofill app, similar to the way they select a keyboard app.  The autofill app stores and secures user data, such as addresses, user names, and even passwords.

PIP for handsets and new windowing features: 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. 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.

Adaptive icons: Developers can now create adaptive icons that the system displays in different shapes, based on a mask selected by the device. The system also animates interactions with the icons, and them in the launcher, shortcuts, Settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.

Wide-gamut color for apps: Android developers of imaging apps can now take advantage of new devices that have a wide-gamut color capable display.

Connectivity: For the ultimate in audio fidelity, Android O now also supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs such as Sony's LDAC codec. There's also new WiFi feature called WiFi Aware, that allows apps and nearby devices to communicate over WiFi without an Internet access point.

AAudio API for Pro Audio: AAudio is a new native API that's designed specifically for apps that require high-performance, low-latency audio.
The first developer perview of Android O is available today in the form of factory image file for Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6p, Nexus 5X, Pixel C and Nexus Player. Do note that Android O is not part of the Android Beta Program just yet, meaning you won't be getting the build OTA. Stable release will be available in Q3 2017.

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