Android 8.0 Oreo Places Emphasis On Speed, Security And Multitasking

The next edition of Android will make the platform more secure, more power efficient and offer better multitasking when it hits compatible smartphones and tablets later this year.

Among the headline features of Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ are picture-in-picture mode, which allows users to browse the web or check messages while watching a video or making a video call, and notification dots, which appear on app icons.

Here, users can check the notification without having to open the app, and swipe them away once they have been read. More granular notification controls allow annoying pushes to be ignored, and there is a snooze option for temporary respite.

Google Android Oreo

Building on the emphasis on multitasking is improved speed. Google claims Oreo will boot even faster, up to twice as fast on the Google Pixel, and is compatible with Android ‘Instant Apps’, which allows new software to run without installation.

Autofill has also been added, allowing Android to remember login details, and Oreo will also do its best to stop apps using battery and memory in the background.

Security is boosted by Google Play Protect (which will also be available for older versions of Android) and a find my device feature which means smartphone can be wiped if it is lost.

Google has also added support for downloadable fonts, new accessibility features, adaptive icons and integrated printing support. There are also 60 new emojis if that’s your bag.

Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ is being distributed to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and will be available for the Pixel and selected Nexus devices soon. Other manufacturers should be able to offer the update to their customers before the end of the year.

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Traditionally, major new iterations of Android are named after famous treats. For example, 2.3 was Gingerbread, 3.0 was Honeycomb and 7.0 was Nougat. This is the second time Google has named a version after a real-life snack however, as 4.4. was dubbed ‘KitKat’.

Oreo will power flagship smartphones from the likes of Samsung, LG and Google itself over the next 12 months and go head to head with the new iPhone and iOS 11, both of which are expected next month.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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