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Top five from Android O: notes from Google’s first developer preview

Google has released a first developer preview of Android O. There is a promise of better battery life, snoozing notifications, and more.

tech Updated: Mar 24, 2017 12:36 IST
HT Correspondent
Google has released a first developer preview of Android O. There is a promise of better battery life, snoozing notifications, and more.
Google has released a first developer preview of Android O. There is a promise of better battery life, snoozing notifications, and more.(Alphabet)

Alphabet Inc may be making a tradition of releasing a developer preview of its latest mobile operating system (OS) before the official launch. For the second year running, (it released Nougat in a similar fashion last year), Google has released a developer preview of it’s new OS - this time called ‘Android O’.

Other than its new features, speculation is rife about the new dessert’s name that the new version of Android will take that, presumably, begins with ‘O’. TechCrunch hopes it will be Oreo, CNet has suggested everything from Orange to Onion Powder.

The headline, of course, is battery life. Android O comes with the promise of improving battery life, by restricting and managing what apps can do in the background while multiple apps are open.

Google is also adding something called ‘Notification Channels’. According to Google, there will be “app-defined categories for notification content”. What this means, essentially, is that you will be able to group notifications for similar apps. You can even set and enable background colours for different sets of notifications.

The new OS also allows you to snooze notifications. Once you see the notification, you will be able to slide your finger over it to make it reappear after 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

Picture in Picture is another headline feature. Android O will allow you to continue playing videos, even if you open another app while it is playing. This multi-window mode is already available for Android TV; Android O makes the feature available on other Android devices.

If an activity supports multi-window mode and is running on a device with multiple displays, users can move the activity from one display to another. When an app launches an activity, the app can specify which display the activity should run on.