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Google Android O Beta Now Available

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Google I/O 2017: Android O ushers in new security, developer and optimisation features

Google’s Android O beta programme has gone live, for both  developers and non-developers to put the search giant’s next generation mobile operating system to the test. 

At Google I/O 2017, the company noted that Android O is set to receive a big security boost with the Google Play Protect, a service that can scan apps for  malicious activity to prevent Android users from downloading apps with compromised security. The Play Store already has such a feature but Google aims to make it easier for users to spot malicious apps. 

Android optimised 

Google Play ProtectGoogle also touted its ‘vitals’ approach to Android O which involves providing developers with ways to boost app performance, as well as improve over all OS performance.

Vitals will address core areas such as app performance, security, and battery life, the latter of which will see Android O apply “wise limits” to background apps to prevent them from excessively draining battery. Android O is set to boot twice as fast as that of Android 7.0 Nougat, and apps are predicted to be faster and more responsive. 

Another big boon for developers was the announcement that Google is adding  support for the Kotlin programming language for Android. 

Alongside this , Google showed off its Fluid Experiences user interface, which ushers in features such as picture-in-picture modes for multitasking within Android, Smart Text Selection tool that uses machine learning to predict what a user wished to copy and paste, and  Notification Dots, which lets a user see pending notifications in apps as dots and activate then through a long press of the icon without needing to open the app.

Android O will also bring in Google’s Autofill service, which automatically fills in online forms, to Android with the ability for developers to integrate their feature into their third-party apps. 

Quiz: What do you know about Android?