Jazzed about that Oreo name, Android enthusiasts? Keep being jazzed, because this first developer preview for the Android O featureset isn’t terribly impressive. Not on an usefulness level, for sure, but on the frontier of advancing what users have never seen in software before.
Sure, wide color gamut support is desperately needed in the HDR age and having adaptive icons across the whole system display bits and pieces of information at any given time makes a whole bunch of sense. But where have these and other features first make a public appearance? That’s right, from Apple.
And this is not a case of about which company will do it better — we think Android has the customization legs it needs to take some of these features beyond what iOS is willing to offer — but about what kind of platform team is able to float a feature out there in some wild test oceans. You, as an enthusiast, could argue that since Nougat seemed so iterative from its Marshmallow roots, O seems to be an iteration of an iteration.
If there’s anything to hope for, it’s on the notifications front. There are way too many of them around for all of them to be useful and with Android O letting you prune the dead branches as it were, we see a lead that’s built up extended even further.
We might see Google make the biggest developments out of Android into their own little events. Google Assistant was launched to a wider audience away from a system update. And then, of course, we have Nexus and Pixel hardware events that tug at the standard of what other OEMs should be including in their devices.
But man, at least for this developer preview, it’s not a terribly exciting time to jump into Android O as an “enthusiast”. Check out the video above for some visuals on some of the changes you can look forward to.