Android O release date, name and features: Android Oreo now available on Honor 9 and 8 Pro

The update brings speed optimisations, plus a tailored user experience in the form of Smart Tips

Android Oreo top features

Google gave fans their first official look at Android Oreo then known only as "Android O" at the Google I/O developer's conference.

Android Oreo is very much not a massive overhaul of the OS and instead offers tweaks and optimisations for existing features. That's not to say there's nothing new, though.

Picture-in-Picture video

Google has finally introduced picture-in-picture video to Android. If you're making a video call in Duo or watching a video in YouTube, pressing the home button will bring you back to the home screen, with a minimised window in the right hand corner displaying the video. In practise, it works very similarly to the way picture-in-picture videos are displayed within YouTube's mobile app, although this is system-wide and compatible with multiple different apps.

Android Instant Apps

Android Instant Apps allows users to run certain apps on their phones and tablets without having to actually install them.

The concept was first introduced way back in spring 2016, at the company's annual I/O developer conference, but it wasn't actually made available for a year. This feature isn't exclusive to Android Oreo, but it is the first time a version of Android has launched with the capability pre-loaded.

Notifications

The notification system has been slightly tweaked, with new iOS-style 'notification dots'. If you have unread notifications within an app, a dot will be displayed in the corner of its home screen icon, which you can long-press on to see a pop-up widget giving you more details on the content. This feature should require no extra effort for devs to enable Android will even change the dot's colour automatically depending on your icon's design, ensuring it doesn't spoil your colour scheme.

Android Oreo introduced notification channels, too. These are new app-defined categories for notification content. Channels allow users to have extra control over different types of notifications so they can block or change the behaviour of each channel individually instead of managing all of the app's notifications together.

There are also new visuals and grouping of notifications that make it easier for users to see what's going on when viewing their notifications.

Autofill and Smart Text Selection

A couple of less impressive (but arguably more useful) features in Android Oreo are autofill and smart text selection. The former extends Chrome's built-in autocomplete function to Android, meaning that when you set up a new phone, Android will automatically fill in your account details for apps. It's currently unknown if this feature will allow you to use different credential storage services like Lastpass or Dashlane, however.

Android's new smart text selection is another useful feature. It uses machine learning to identify multi-part phrases that are commonly highlighted together, like phone numbers, addresses and business names, meaning users just have to double-tap on one word to highlight the whole thing. It even brings up a shortcut for the app it thinks would be most relevant, like Maps or the phone dialler.

There's also a "fully redesigned" emoji set, featuring 60 new emojis.

Featured Resources

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Most Popular

Star Alliance passenger data stolen in SITA data breach
data breaches

Star Alliance passenger data stolen in SITA data breach

5 Mar 2021
15 schools in Nottinghamshire crippled by cyber attack
cyber attacks

15 schools in Nottinghamshire crippled by cyber attack

4 Mar 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021