Wednesday 29 March 2017

Google Oreo - Twist, Lick & Dunk for Android

Google has been adopting the names of food items as the names of their android OS. After Gingerbread, Ice Cream sandwich, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat, now it is time for OREO.

Since the first launch in 2008, Android has flourished on unbelievable feedback from the vivacious ecosystems of app developers and device makers, as well as of course our users. More recently, Google have been pushing hard on improving and now came up with new OS – Android O.

Android O introduces several new features and APIs to use in your apps. Here's are just a few new things, the twists, licks and dunks for you to start trying in this first Developer Preview.

First the Twists

Background Limits: Android O puts a big priority on improving a user's battery life and the device's interactive performance. To manage this feature efficiently, Android O has specified some additional limits on background running of the apps. They are implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates.

Notification Channels: This is a new app defined category for notification content. These notification channels let the developers give absolute control over various types of notifications. For instance, user can block or change the behavior of each channel individually. Also, new view is developed to notifications to make it easy for users to see notifications.

Then the Licks

Auto-fill APIs: Users can select the auto-fill app just like the way they select keyboard app. This auto-fill app stores the secured user data. For apps that want to handle auto-fill, Android O is providing new APIs to implement an auto-fill service.

Picture in Picture (PIP): To enable users to continue watching a video while they are using another application, android O is enabling a new feature. User can specify the aspect ratio for PiP. Also, user can also specify the interactions such as play and pause. Along with this, new feature of app overlay window supports the user to use instead of system alert window.

Font resources in XML: Fonts are now a fully supported resource type in android O. Developers can utilize the XML layouts as well as define font families for the apps in XML. This helps in declaring the font style and weight along with the font files.

Now for the Dunks

Adaptive Icons: Enabling a better integration with the UI device, developer can create adaptive icons that are available in different styles. This allows the system to animate the interactions with the icons in launchers, shortcuts and overview screens.

Connectivity: To support the developer with the ultimate audio fidelity, Android O now supports LDAC codec (A high quality audio codec from Sony).
The telecom framework is also extending the connection service APIs to enable third party calling apps to integrate with the system UI.

Keyboard Navigation: Android O is focused on building a more reliable, predictable model for arrow and tab navigation that helps both developers and end users.

There are many more advanced features to come in the next releases of Android O. As of now Android O has now released the initial preview for developers only. Developers can download Android O here.

The O Developer Preview includes an updated SDK with system images for testing on the official Android Emulator and on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C devices. If you're building for wearable, there's also an emulator for testing Android Wear 2.0 on Android O.

Android O concludes some of the work started in Nougat and further braces the nature of control in android. The first developer preview is typically one that is most feature-rich, with only a few notable additions in subsequent previews. It is very clear that most changes in Android O has in store are of the background variety.  All things said, I guess indian sweets would never make it to the list. Thats a bummer cause I think Google Gulab Jamon would totally work.

NagaTeja Rupavataram
Technical Writer
 +65 62689551

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