Android O beta spreads through the full beta program today

At Google I/O 2017, VP for engineering for Android Dave Burke announced that over 2 billion monthly active users. Chromebooks have taken 60 percent of the K-12 education market. 82 billion Google Play apps and games were installed last year. Obviously, these numbers are nothing without something new.

Thus, we ask “what’s new?” Well, in the Android O Developer Preview, we’re learning more about Fluid Experiences and Vitals.

Four Fluid Experiences are launching with O to liquefy the user interface.

  • Picture-in-picture mode finally gets added on beyond the YouTube app. Press the home button and you’ll get a small inset with the playing clip while you can check out other things you need to do with the app.
  • Notification Dots are reduced notification badges. They show no number, but let users long press the app icon on the home screen to dissect and act upon or dismiss those notifications. Developers need not do anything.
  • Autofill comes into the play on apps. Opt in and most applications will let you tap once and fill your login and password. APIs will let developers expand on further possible fields.
  • Smart Selection will neatly detect the text of addresses, proper names, phone numbers and email. There’s no more fiddling word to word for those annoying figures while contact information can be acted upon in an overflow menu.

TensorFlow Lite and neural network APIs will make these experiences possible and can be adjusted to the hardware being worked on.

Vitals lets users track and manage the nuts and bolts of the experience such as battery life and security very easily.

  • Google Play Protect is the more visible ploy to what Google Play has always done: scan apps that you download from the Play Store and let you know that they’re safe to use. Users will just get a visual reminder and representation of what it does.
  • Boot times on Android O, thanks to compacted runtime processes, have been halved. Apps are also faster, too.
  • Wise Limits will put a rein on background app data and process usage.
  • Developers get Play Console Dashboards, getting a summary of slowdowns, crashes and a profiler of what goes on in the app while these issues occur.
  • Developers can also celebrate the fact that Kotlin is the first new language for Android ever. It’s fully interoperable in Java and Android.

The first Android O beta release is available today. You can sign up for it here. Coverage continues through the day on Pocketnow.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.