Google has once again come before its I/O event to deliver the developer preview of the next version of Android, Android O. It is available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel and Pixel XL.

The feature roster for Android O stands quite strong and does reflect some of what little we’ve been hearing from back channel sources.

  • Background operations get a tighter leash to prevent data usage run-ups and battery sapping. They’re categorized into background services, location updates and implicit [system-side] broadcasts.
  • App notifications can now be given notification channel toggles for users to subscribe to different categories of alerts. You can hold down on a notification on a news app, in practice, and change which topics or geographies you want to hear news about.
  • Developers can now play with autofill APIs at the system-level to create third-party form Autofill apps.
  • Picture-in-Picture viewing is now supported with fine selection of aspect ratio, size and interactions.
  • Apps can take advantage of an overlay window for prompts instead of a system alert window.
  • Multi-display support is also baked-in.
  • Font in XML is fully supported.
  • Adaptive icons now exist across the system from launcher to settings. OEMs that craft their own button interface can choose to implement animations below a shaped mask.
  • DCI-P3, along with other wide color gamuts can now be seen in apps.
  • The Bluetooth LDAC and aptX codecs, among other audio codecs, are now supported.
  • Wi-Fi Aware will allow users to connect between devices without needing an internet access point.
  • ConnectionService APIs will bridge third-party calling apps with the system to display activity in interfaces such as Android Auto.
  • AAudio API for Pro Audio is the first API that allows data to be written and read in streams, upping the quality and lowering latency.
  • Apps using WebView operations will open them as a process separate from the app by default. However, a new diagnostic API will let any WebView crashes and errors report as from the app.

Other features we’ve been hearing about, like Google Assistant integration into an enhanced text highlight tool, may have to come when more work has been done and server links get implemented. They may not come at all. It is early stages, after all.

We’ll be tackling more user-accessible features that may impact your use flow in further coverage throughout the next days on Pocketnow. For now, you can hit the source link to flash the files to your eligible device — the Android Beta Program will be skipping out on Developer Preview 1.

Four previews are in the pipeline. The second one is expected around mid-May (Google I/O 2017’s timeframe). APIs and the official SDK will come with Preview 3 in mid-June. Preview 4 comes shortly before August and a final release is expected in Q3. Android Nougat followed the same general timeline and launched in late August of last year.

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