It has been quite some time since Android 7.0 Nougat has been released, and most phones now run the latest version of the Android OS family. Next Android OS in line, Android 8.0 ‘O’. The OS is available for installation but hasn’t been released for public use. If you’re a developer, you may download the developer preview for it; an update, however, even in beta stage is not yet available. The 7.0 Nougat OS was released fully in August last year; we’re expecting the next OS around the same time. We’ll have to wait before the next update officially comes up.
We, however, already know what updates and new features Android 8.0 would probably incorporate. There has been tremendous progress since the first Android was brought in 2008. There has been an amazing level of growth in the way we interact with our communication devices. Android 7.0 brought many useful and important changes in the UI and application interfaces. These changes reflect in the UI of the phone, most important one being the use of multi-window screen.
We’re expecting many more changes and upgrades in the new software, but they would rather be at the system level and more focussed on developers, eventually coming to the end users, rather than coming directly. Here are a few of the changes the new Android OS is expected to incorporate:
Android 7.0 changed the way notifications would be displayed to make it better for developers, helping them get the most out of it. We’re expecting 8.0 to pull in even better updates with a changed notification panel. We’ve received news that the new panel will allow similar notifications grouped together. Users will have even more control in the 8.0 on how notifications will be displayed to them.
Fonts w/ XML support
Google has apparently been planning on making the fonts a full-fledged ‘resource type’ in the upcoming OS. This means that the fonts will now be defined just like we define colours while coding, using XML. Although this update is intended for developers, this will eventually help them deliver better to the end user. We’ll be spared the trouble of downloading all fonts ourselves and installing them, something which needs rooting at times.
Android will bring some powerful changes in the way we connect our hardware, especially in the wireless connectivity.
– HQ Bluetooth Audio: Using Sony LDAC codecs, a sound will be transferred better using Bluetooth.
– NAN Connectivity: The Neighbourhood Aware Networking (NAN) feature enables supported devices to communicate with each other without having to connect to a central access point.
– New APIs w/ Telecom Framework: New APIs will support applications that wouldn’t require any universal phone applications for calling info display.
Java 8 APIs
Android O will support Java 8 APIs. This would include java.time API, that was introduced with the latest version of Java 8. This would have new optimizations that would help developers design applications for improved performance and stability.
We could soon have touch compatible laptops, running Android on a full-fledged basis, something similar to the Lenovo Yoga series, that runs windows. Android 8.0 will enable keyboard and mouse navigation compatibility for various devices.
Adaptive icons are a feature of the Google Pixel Launcher that will be now supported system wide and will be kept as a native feature of the new OS. Adaptive icons will be supported in the launcher, on shortcuts, in the device Settings, in sharing dialogs and the app overview screen, etc., basically everywhere.
Picture in picture
The PiP feature for handset might have seemed a little far-fetched in the past, but not anymore. The latest OS will optimise the PiP method for phones, something that’s already present in the Android TV. This will take the UI one step further than the current multi-window screen feature.
Autofill API Improvement
Improved autofill will focus on more security and the way devices record repetitive info for easier and seamless flow of data input from the user’s side. This way, users will be more comfortable using an application to store their autofill data without having to rely on online services. Users would be able to choose an autofill service much like the way they choose keyboards.
These eight features are important improvements that are meant to eventually help developers create applications more efficiently and providing users with better experience. Although this update will not enable huge changes in the UI but will make a lot of changes in the way the OS is coded. Android 8.0 will surely be better that the current 7.0, which already quite awesome.