It wouldn’t be a Google I/O conference without some Android-related news, and Google has just unveiled more information on Android O. Aside from announcing that the first public beta build of Android O is now available, Google also detailed two major areas Android O will focus on: “fluid experiences” and “vitals.”
Let’s start with “fluid experiences.” Basically, it’s a refinement of Android’s user interface while adding genuinely useful features; one such feature is Picture-in-Picture mode. During the presentation, Google demonstrated that it’s possible to shrink a YouTube video to a corner and open another app at the same time. In a way, this is an extension of Split-screen Mode, only more intuitive and practical.
And then there’s one of the most convenient new features to be introduced in Android O: Smart Text Selection. Instead of selecting, say, the full address of a restaurant manually, users can simply double tap on said address to highlight it in full. Android O will also add a link to Google Maps to start navigating to the address; very convenient.
As for “vitals,” Android O will focus quite a bit on battery life, startup time, stability, as well as security. Among these areas, battery life is arguably the most important aspect here. According to Google, Android O will implement “wise limits” on any given app’s background activity, where it will ensure said app will not drain the device’s battery needlessly.
Startup time, on the other hand, is said to be twice as fast on Android O. And as for security, the upcoming Android update will feature Google Play Protect, which will scan installed apps on your phone to make sure they’re not malicious. While this sounds rather neat, it’s worth noting that Google already scans apps in the Play Store for suspicious behavior before this; the company is merely making it more visible to users now.
Android O is shaping up to be the best version of Android yet, and the first public beta build of the update is now available for download. However, only selected Nexus and Pixel devices are eligible for the beta build, and note that it will almost definitely have some bugs here and there.