Almost exactly a year after the Android Nougat Developer Preview was launched, Google has unleashed a developer preview of the next major version of Android, the Android O.

‘Android O’ Logo

Android’s latest version offers a few new interesting features and lots of UI tweaks. Developer preview has plenty of odd bugs and unfinished areas too. But lets read on the top features of Android O Developer Preview – you all need to know about.

The Android O developer preview is available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C and Nexus Player.

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An Upgraded Notifications Panel

The top of the notification panel has been changed. The status bar isn’t shown when the notification panel is open, but in Android O, there are now a few status bar elements at the top of the notification panel. You’ll see your Wi-Fi, cellular, and battery status, along with the settings gear and the expand button.

android O developer preview
Notifications Panel – Android O vs. Nougat

Android O also lets you group your notifications with different channels. Targeted at tackling the notifications flood, you would now be able to better control the notifications you want to group and the way it would notify.

Support For Auto-fill APIs

Google has added a platform in the operating system that would let applications play around with the auto-fill feature on different dialogue boxes. This capability will change the way an application stores the data that is to be used repetitively.

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Fonts Combined With XML

In Android O, font resources have been put in XML. This will let applications have more freedom in playing with the system fonts while in the process.

Picture In Picture

Google has incorporated picture-in-picture feature into the latest operating system. This feature will now let applications play the videos even if you switch to a different application. With the help of a sub-play screen, you will be able to switch back to the video any time you want.

Limits On Applications, Better Battery

The latest Android promises a better battery life, as the limits for the applications running in the background have been set in Android O – that will let the operating system automatically kill some abilities of an application running in the background.

For now, in its first developer preview, these limits have been applied in three domains which include background services, implicit broadcasts, and location updates. This also means that the batteries would now last more.

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A Better Settings App

The settings app in Android O has been totally reworked. Everything is rearranged and condensed, and the design is now very different. Settings now has a lighter theme. placeholder because it most likely is a placeholder.

Settings App – Android O vs. Nougat

The Android O settings have been condensed and now are only about half as long as the Nougat version. Settings have been placed into logical sections like “Network & Internet” for Wi-Fi and cellular options; “Connected Devices” for Bluetooth, NFC, and USB devices; and “Security and Screen Lock” for encryption, fingerprint, and lock screen type.

Better Keyboard Navigation

Although this feature has essentially been made for the Chrome OS – it will allow developers to get a better operating system support if they ever want to use keyboard based arrow and tab navigation capabilities.

Customizable Lock-screen Shortcuts

Android O has a lock screen customizer in the System UI – which lets you customize the left and right shortcuts that live on the bottom of the lock screen, allowing you to finally change from the default of “Voice command” and “Camera.” And there are also a crazy number of options to choose from.

android O developer preview
Lock-screen Shortcuts

Lock screen customizer lists every app on your device and also the specific parts of apps. For example, you can open YouTube or have an icon that jumps right to the YouTube subscription page. You can make an icon open Google Docs, or you can specifically have it open a new Google doc.

Support For Java 8 APIs

Google has put in support for the latest Java Language APIs into the Android O. While developing their applications, developers will be able to take use of the latest Java APIs that were released with the latest Java version 8.

android O developer preview
Road-map For ‘Android O’

One thing that should be kept in mind is that this is just the first developer preview. Google has put up a road-map for future releases. Next up is preview 2, an “incremental update” and “beta”, which will be launched sometime in May. With a whopping two months between preview 1 and 2, expect some major new features in the upcoming release.

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