Google has finally rolled out the newest Android version — and no, it’s not a bird, and it’s not a plane…but it’s called Super Oreo! Late last month, the company revealed the official name of its latest mobile OS. The update starts with much improved battery life and increased performance and will also include new security measures, easier text selection and a picture-in-picture feature for enhanced multitasking.

So, let’s take a further look at Android Oreo and some of the great features it has to offer to its loyal Android users.

Picture in Picture

 

With Android Oreo, you can resume a video call from Duo or watch a video started in Chrome using picture-in-picture mode. It’s simple to use — all you need to do is tap the Home button when the video is playing and Oreo will take care of the rest.

Better battery life with Vitals

Thanks to Google’s Vitals initiative, your Android mobile device will have what it calls “wise limits” to create automatic caps for what apps can do in the background. These limits will curtail excessive use of background services and location updates, so your apps won’t be able to do too much damage to your battery when you’re not using them.

Notification Dots

 

Android Oreo allows users to see notifications they’ve missed without pulling down the drop-down menu from the top of your screen. Apps with missed notifications will sport a badge that draws its color from the apps icon, so you can quickly scan your home screen to check out the state of affairs. (iOS users are familiar with this, with the red badges on their app icons.) A long-press on an app with a Notification Dot will open a menu (that looks like 3D Touch) of those missed notifications.

Faster Performance

The Vitals project driving Android Oreo development will also bring more speed and greater performance to Android devices. At the Google I/O 2017 developers conference in May, Android product manager Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson explained that the company has seen its Pixel handsets boot twice as fast, with similar gains in the Google Sheets app.

Auto-enable Wi-Fi

A clever, new feature will automatically turn your phone’s Wi-Fi back on based on your location. This way, your phone can connect to your home network when you arrive, saving you from any fiddling with the device.

To enable this feature, go to Network and Internet > WiFi > WiFi Preferences. Then toggle on the setting. Your phone will then use its location knowledge to reconnect to networks like your home Wi-Fi. It’s a clever way to save on data usage and use the phone’s internal smarts without flipping the Wi-Fi on and off.

Pinned shortcuts and widgets

 

Android Oreo takes the ability to customize your home screen even further with pinned shortcuts and widgets. When you long press an app icon, you’ll see distinct buttons that each have a description about what those shortcuts will do when pegged to your home screen.

Touch and hold one of them and drag them to an open spot on the home screen. Now, you’ll be able to directly launch that action.

Enhanced security with Google Play Protect

 

The more we rely on our smartphones, the more our mobile security becomes important. That’s why it’s great to see Google Play Protect, a new service suite that will scans your apps for threats, and constantly checking for the latest risks, which will be found and detected via machine learning. If such an app is found on your device — and Google says the feature can scan more than 50 billion apps per day — it will delete the dangerous app from your handset or tablet.

Save time with Smart Text Selection

One of the more annoying parts of using a smart phone is fidgeting on your screen with your fingers to select a specific amount of text. Android Oreo’s Smart Text Selection makes it easy to pull out addresses, business names and other selections by automatically selecting the entire amount of text by tapping on it. Android will use machine learning to power this feature, but Google executives promised your text will stay on your device and not get sent to the cloud.

Cooler icons

 

Your screen will come alive in Android Oreo, as icons will change while you use your handset, adapting to themes and animation as you interact with them. This means icons will squiggle and move as you tap them, and their edges and color palettes can adjust over time. We look forward to a desktop filled with animated icons that light up like a Pixar movie, and don’t sit there and look awkward in contrast with your background image.

Persistent notifications get smaller

Persistent notifications are annoying, but they are an inevitable part of Android. With Oreo, those notifications will be less prominent. You can still view the entire notification with a tap, but by default, the notification will be minimized.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 6:05:18 AM and is filed under Sweet Tech.

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