What’s New In Android 8.0 Oreo | 20 Added Features and Changes

Google has finally launched the 8th major version of the Android and as expected, they have named it Oreo. They have also started the public rollout of the stable Android Oreo version for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus player set top box, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C tablet.

No surprise, the new version is equipped with a lot of changes and new features. We are listing all those key features and functionalities you should look forward to from Android 8.0 when it rolls out to your device. Let’s explore what’s new and exciting in the recent release.

20. Autofill Framework

Android O introduces Autofill Framework, which makes filling out forms easier, like login and credit card forms. All existing and new applications work with this Autofill Framework. All you have to do is allow Android to save the account credential (asked while filing form for the first time). The next time you visit to log into your account, Android will automatically present you with a list of stored credentials.

19. New Emoji

Google is finally replacing its traditional emoji style to new stylish and rounded icons. They want to make sure emoji are as consistent as possible when used on different platforms. Android Oreo also includes 69 new emoji, focused on better representation of gender, as well as some sci-fi characters and fun fantasy.

18. Enhanced Audio Quality

Android 8.0 supports LDAC, Sony’s hi-res Bluetooth audio codec. This will improve the sound quality for devices that are connected wirelessly to your smartphone. Moreover, a new audio API has been added for the app demanding low-latency high-performance audio. This could be a huge benefit for people using wireless headphones.

17. Wide Gamut Color

Developers can now take advantage of devices that supports wide gamut colors. To show wide gamut pictures, all you need to do is enable a flag in app’s manifest (per activity) and load bitmaps with an embedded wide color profile (like Pro Photo RGB and AdobeRGB and DCI-P3).

16. Apps from Unknown Sources

If you are installing an app that not listed in the Play Store, you need to grant permission to that app. This functionality has been integrated for security purpose.

15. Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect feature is meant to enhance the security of your device by scanning the system for malicious apps and files. It issues alerts if any harmful file is detected. It can even delete the application in critical scenarios. It is enabled by default, and you can disable it (not recommended) in the Settings.

14. Autosizing TextView and Fonts In XML

Android O allows you to set the size of your text contract or expand automatically according to the size of the TextView. This makes it easier to optimize the text size on different devices or with dynamic content.

Developers can now use fonts as resources. There is no need to bundle fonts as assets. They are compiled in R file and available in the system as a resource.

13. Better Keyboard Navigation

This feature would benefit Chromebook users. According to Google, more users are navigating play store apps using a physical keyboard. We all know that touchscreen optimized applications and keyboard don’t play nice together. To solve this issue, Google has made Android O more predictable and reliable when using arrow keys to navigate interfaces.

12. Better Search In Settings

Android now supports deeper search function in Settings, which lets you find any entity hidden underneath a couple of layers of menus. You can now quickly access app’s data to quit the app, delete its cache or manage its permissions. It also shows the path of the discovered entity, making it easier to locate it next time.

11. Turn On Wifi Automatically

Android O can automatically turn on WiFi when you are in office or home. To save the battery it doesn’t scan for access points all day. But when you are in the office or get back home, Oreo can use your device’s location to see you are in a known WiFi hotspot area, so it will automatically turn it on. You can enable this feature under Network and Internet Settings.

10. Adaptive Icons

Android Oreo introduces adaptive icon launcher that will animate according to the user interaction. These icons support visual effects and can show a wide range of shapes across different smartphone devices.

9. Smart String Selection

Android O uses machine learning to detect which application suits the string of characters you have selected for copy and paste. For example, if you select a string “[email protected]”, it would suggest opening the gmail or other related email app. Another useful example is you can highlight a phone number and pop right into the dialer.

8. Revamped Settings Menu

Google has redesigned Setting menu that features subtle dark gray text on white background. They have removed the side navigation menu introduced in Android 7. This has been done to make the Setting interface as simple and straightforward as possible.

7. WiFi Aware

WiFi Aware feature allows your device to identify and connect directly to other device over WiFi without Internet or other type of connectivity between them, like Cellular and WiFi Access Point.

It is more reliable than WiFi peer-to-peer connection. It even works across longer distance and supports higher throughput as compared to Bluetooth. Moreover, it is useful for applications that share data between users like image sharing apps.

6. New Battery Usage Screen

The battery menu in Android 8 has received a visual refresh. Some of the basic options like battery saver and adaptive brightness are now right beneath the battery level status. Also the battery usage graph is a bit easier to read.

What’s more interesting is, they have added impressive statistics at the bottom that tell you specifically how much of your battery was consumed by device’s display and mobile network scanning.

5. Background Limits

Google is putting strict boundaries on actions that apps can perform in the background. It will fix issues with standby battery drain. These limits will ensure that apps won’t run unnecessary background services or keep listener services active at all times.

Apps can only request location updates ‘a fixed number of times every hour’. This will apply to all applications, even if it is built for Android Oreo or older versions.

4. Use Apps Before Installing Them

Google Instant Apps is not something new; 500 million users now have access to instant apps.

As the number of applications and services have exploded in the last couple of years, installing a new app and regularly updating it has become annoying. Google Instant Apps provides a solution for this – run or test the app before installing it. It provides native, rich experiences at the tap of a web URL.

3. PiP Mode

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode allows apps to run a video in the pinned window in a corner while another activity continues on the main screen. It makes multitasking less of a compromise than split-window mode, and provides a better user experience.

2. Notifications

The notification system has been reconfigured to provide more consistent ways to manage notification settings and behavior. These changes include –

Notification channel: This allows you to create a customizable channel for each kind of notification you want to display. You can modify the characteristics like importance, sound, vibration, light, override do not disturb, and show on lockscreen.

Notification badges: Reflects the presence of notification that the user has not seen or dismissed yet. When you tap and hold the app icon with badge (or dot), the notification would be display concisely.

Snoozing: Users can now snooze notifications – disappear notification for a specific period of time before they appear again. The notification will reappear with the same level of importance as they appeared first time.

1. Quick Boot

Read: What’s New in iOS 11 – 22 Added Features and Changes

It’s not really an Android update until you see improvements in performance. Android O is almost 1.5 times faster (boot time tested on Pixel XL) than previous version. Google claims that Oreo will bring this benefit to all devices that run the software. It is not just the OS that becomes faster, but applications would start running faster too.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a professional science and technology journalist and a big fan of AI, machines, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out about his latest projects, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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