Android enthusiasts, this is a great time for you. Android O first developer preview is now available for installation via flashing to your device. The Pixel, PixelXL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C tablet are the devices that are eligible to begin testing the first preview of Android O. The over the air Android Beta version of Android O should be available for the second preview coming in May.
- Improved battery life.
- System Wide Autofill
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Notification Channels
- Snooze your Notifications
- HiFi Bluetooth Audio
- Additional Lock Screen Shortcuts
- Wi-Fi Aware
- Third Party Calling Support
- Visual Improvements
The battery life of your device will be greatly improved because Google will limit what apps running in the background can do. For example: if an app is tracking your location, Google will limit how often the app can request your location.
Now you can watch a video on your phone while continuing to work in another application.
If you have a password manager app, you can now choose to use that password manager system wide on your Android device.
This is great for anyone who uses a physical keyboard. It makes it easier to use a keyboard on your device. It is most likely intended to help those who are running Android applications on their Chromebooks, but everyone will be able to benefit.
You can now group apps that send you notifications into channels that can be managed as a single group. For example: if you have several sports apps that send you notifications, you can group them all into one sports notification channel. Then you could see all of your sports information in just one place.
If you need your phone to give it a rest while you concentrate on something else, you can just slide your finger across the notification, and you will be prompted to snooze the notification for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. So far, this is the feature I want right now.
Thanks to help from Sony, you can now wirelessly stream high quality audio in Android O. This feature also significantly reduces wireless audio latency.
Right now, you have a microphone for the Google Assistant, and a camera icon on the lock screen. In Android O, you will be able to add additional shortcuts that you can use on the lock screen.
Wi-Fi Aware makes it easier for your Android device to communicate with things like Bluetooth beacons. This will make it easier for apps to provide you data gathered from the surrounding environment, like malls and public venues.
Android O allows third party calling apps the ability to function in the same ways as the default phone app. It will allow Bluetooth support and Google Assistant support for those apps.
Android O also makes several visual improvements to the layout, such as, new fonts, icon designs changes, higher quality photo display, and a new overlay feature.
These are just some of the changes that are currently available. There will be four previews released prior to the final release this fall.
If you wish to install the factory image of the developer preview, head on over to 9 to 5 Google for an excellent step by step instruction on how to get it done.