Thoughts

The most important Android Oreo features you should know about

Mar 24, 2017
white Google Android on a montage background of the Android O circular logos
3 min read

Google has just launched the latest version of Android. It’s called Android Oreo. Google is making a number of big changes to the user experience with some cool video stuff, remoulded notifications, improved power savings on background processes, and more.

 

Here one can have a look at some of the important Android Oreo features which I think would help to build better apps.

 

android-O-notifications.jpg

Source: Android Developers (Google)

 

1. Notification channel

Notification has been very strong feature for android from the beginning. In Android O we can group notifications into notification channel. To better illustrate this with an example, if you had a channel of apps that are all "social" related notifications, you could interact and control notification settings for all the apps in the social channel at once.

 

When a user modifies the behaviour of the characteristics like Importance, sound, lights, vibration, show on the lockscreen, and Override do not disturb it applies to all the notifications in the channel.

 

2. Autofill APIs

Android O gives you easy yet secure access to it across your device via autofill. You can select the app from which you want to autofill. The autofill app can be your password manager app or any other app which stores all the details.

 

Previously we had to select the keyboard to access the data for autofill but now in Android O, this works more easily across the ecosystem by adding platform support for autofill. If you have your app which has data for autofilling and want to enable it, now you can do it in a better way...

https://developer.android.com/preview/features/autofill.html

 

3. Picture-in-picture

Android Oreo brings in the ability to keep a video playing while interacting with another app. This has already been there in Android TV but now supports the handsets too. If you want to play video of your app outside it then start making it support it. You would love to check this.

https://developer.android.com/preview/api-overview.html#opip

 

4. Font resources in XML

This is developer focused feature but previously within a project, the mobile app developers were compelled to add the fonts file in assets which had not compiled yet. The new OS fully supports Fonts as a resource and Apps can now use fonts in XML layouts as well as define font families in XML.

 

adaptive_icons.jpg

Source: Android Developers (Google)

 

5. Adaptive icons:

Pixel devices use circular icons, Samsung devices use a squircle, and numerous Chinese companies try to emulate Apple's rounded rectangle icons, so what's a third-party app developer to do? The new "Adaptive icons" feature will let developers pick a background image, which each individual Android skin can then cut out to fit the system design.

 

The idea is to have your unique icon in the center of a variable shape, with a background image that can be cut in several different ways. This new type of icon will work pretty much everywhere you see an icon on the launcher, shortcuts, settings sharing dialogs, and the overview screen and system animation will be correctly applied to the variable shape.

 

6. Background process limits:

Now user can finally be happy because Oreo places automatic limits on what apps can work in the background by throttling implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. This means background services will have less impact on the battery life.

 

7. Permissions:

Developer perspective feature: Android Oreo introduces a new permission, android.permission.ANSWER_PHONE_CALLS, which allows apps to answer incoming phone calls programmatically.

 

This can be both pro and con.Pro in the sense Android Auto app or some fitness app can directly answer the call without user interaction to the phone where user is busy while driving or workouts Con is that answering the call may lead to breach of security and your private information may get compromised.

 

Developers are very excited to play around with the preview and provide feedback on features. At hedgehog lab we are keen to follow innovations in mobile platforms to create better experiences for our customers. 

 


 

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Sridhar Kulkarni

Author Sridhar Kulkarni

Sridhar Kulkarni is an Android developer with 4 years of experience. He is passionate about new tech and gadgets. He is always fascinated about learning anything in depth and loves Friends TV series.

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