Android 8.0 Oreo unveiled by Google, with picture-in-picture mode and other new features
Google has revealed the latest version of its mobile operating system, dubbed Android 8.0 Oreo, which includes a picture-in-picture mode, enabling users to view two apps at the same time, among other new features.
The software has been labelled “smarter, faster and more powerful than ever” by Google and will be available as a free update to users of Android smartphones, including handsets by Samsung, HTC and Huawei.
In addition to picture-in-picture mode - which will allow users to watch videos while doing other tasks - Oreo will also add new notification dots to flag when an app has an alert waiting to be addressed.
The name - 8.0 Oreo - follows Google’s tradition of naming each new version of Android after “sweet treats”, following 2016’s 7.0 Nougat.
Android’s Sameer Samat said: “We are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform, and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever.
“It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly.
“Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at light speed. When you’re on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side.”
Google said 8.0 Oreo will also feature a new instant apps feature that will enable users to access apps without having to download them, while security settings will automatically scan a user’s device for malicious apps and remove them.
The tech giant said battery life on Android smartphones should increase with Oreo, as the software will cut down on app activity in the background.
Google said the new software will begin rolling out to users “soon” and is likely to be joined by a new version of Google’s Pixel smartphone, which is heavily rumoured to be launching in the autumn.
Some additional functions being added in Oreo:
- Ambient screen: highlights an incoming notification with larger font, highlighted app name and immediate access to actions
- Background execution limits: more control over how apps run in the background for better overall system performance
- Background location limits: limits the frequency of location updates in the background that apps can request from the system
- Deep colour: enables applications to render richer visual content with more vibrant colours and subtler gradients
- Downloadable fonts: applications no longer need to bundle custom fonts, which helps reduce their size
- Integrated printing support: compatible with all Mopria-certified printers, which make up 97 per cent of printers sold worldwide
- Linkable files: a new API will allow users to share files across the Internet via web links.
- High-performance audio features
- Notification categories: more granular and consistent control over which notifications can appear and how intrusive they are
- Notification snoozing: lets users hide notifications for a period of time, similar to Inbox snoozing
- Project Treble: the biggest change to the foundations of Android to date: a modular architecture that makes it easier and faster for hardware makers to deliver Android updates
- Tooltips: support for tooltips (small popup windows with descriptive text) for views and menu items
- Wi-Fi Assistant: auto-connects you to high quality open WiFi and secures your connection with a VPN back to Google