Android 8.0 Oreo: 5 things that got better with Google’s latest update
Oreo update makes Android smarter, faster and sweeter. Here are the top features that make the latest update more exciting.tech Updated: Aug 22, 2017 16:31 IST
Google has finally started rolling out the latest iteration of its Android, version 8.0 ‘Oreo’. The update will be available for all the devices enrolled in the Android Beta program. Google said that Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing and will start rolling out in phases soon.
If you’ve been following Google’s recent Android versions, the operating system has significantly improved over the years, especially after the Android 4.4 KitKat update in 2013. Android Lollipop (version 5.0 – 5.1.1) and Android Marshmallow (version 6.0 – 6.0.1) didn’t radically change the experience the way Android Nougat (version 7.0 – 7.1.2) did.
Android Nougat was perhaps the best update and the closest Android came to Apple’s iOS operating system. One of the best things of the last update was the native support it offered for several popular features, for which we were dependent on custom operating systems from OEMs. For example, split-screen, a popular feature on Samsung smartphones, became a default feature on Android with the Nougat update. In many ways, Nougat was a brave and forward-looking software update.
With Oreo, Android’s unleashed a slew of features and UI improvements. While it may look like an incremental upgrade to many, the update does fix a host of problems Google users have faced over the years.
For most Android users, battery life has been their biggest bane, compelling many to rely on a power bank or look for a charging port after 6-7 hours of heavy usage. Android 8.0 Oreo aims to fix this problem to a certain level. Of course, a lot depends upon the OEMs but software-level optimisation is certainly a welcome move.
The latest Android version brings an improved version of its Doze feature: It lets you restrict apps that run in the background. Until now, it restricted apps from running background when the device is inactive for some time, thus increasing the battery life. Android 8.0 users can expect their phones to last little longer as it restricts apps running in the background even when the device is active. Here’s hoping that Google also encourages developers to have apps that can run in the background but not really eat up all the battery life.
Curtailing background-running apps will have a direct impact on the smartphone’s performance. Google also “limits the frequency of location updates in the background for better overall system health.” According to the company, Android 8.0 Oreo will be twice faster than the previous generation. Another noticeable improvement is the faster boot time: Android 8.0-based phones could boot about 50% faster as well as have apps load much faster. This only makes us hope that Android 8.0 comes to more affordable smartphones, which tend to get slower after a few months of usage.
Android Nougat’s split-screen feature was a winner: It let you run two apps simultaneously. For example, you could watch YouTube videos while solving an equation on the calculator app. Google is now taking this feature to another level by allowing users to minimise the window of one app while working on another one. You can now also see the preview of the minimised app without exiting the app altogether after pressing the home button.
Emojis look familiar, finally
Android Oreo embraces Emoji 5.0 wholeheartedly. The update comes with a revamped set of emojis, including the ones that were rolled out recently. With OS-level integration, you can see the new emojis directly within the stock keyboard or apps. Also, Google has finally gotten rid off outdated blob eomji.
The stock Android was already quite clutter-free (perhaps not as much as Apple’s iOS). The latest update, however, brings a range of new features that make it much neater and fluid. For example, Android now categorises the notification from certain apps. The new ‘notification dots’ feature lets you see what’s in the latest notification and take actions rather clicking on notifications and then browsing all of them. Also, like Inbox’s snoozing, you can now hide notifications for a certain period of time.
First Published: Aug 22, 2017 16:30 IST