Android Oreo is the eighth major upgrade to the operating system, or OS, for Android devices. And yes, it is named after the popular biscuit. It follows in the footsteps of other sweet treat names, including Jellybean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and, most recently, Nougat.
So, what’s new with Android Oreo? This time it focuses on core elements such as battery life, performance and security. We pick out some of the best features.
Multitask with Picture-in-Picture
Google has built on the split-window mode of Android Nougat to help you carry out several tasks at once. With picture-in-picture you can:
- Watch videos while browsing other sites, sending a message or making a call
- Video call a friend while checking your calendar to see when you’re free for lunch
- Watch Android TV alongside your device while browsing the internet or using another app
Save juice with Background Limits
Wish you didn’t have to charge your phone so much? Apps can run in the background when they’re not in use, affecting the battery life and overall performance of your phone.
Background Limits puts automatic limits on app background activities so they’re blocked from carrying out certain tasks to save both energy and memory.
Manage alerts with notification dots
Notifications are a great way to keep up with what’s happening in your apps without actually opening them, like breaking news alerts, but sometimes you can feel swamped by them.
With Oreo, you can control how many you see. Notification dots now appear on an app icon when you have a pending alert. You can clear them by simply swiping them away.
Autofill and highlight addresses with smart text
Fed up of typing your password out every time you log into a website or app? With your permission, the new Autofill feature remembers the details for your most-used apps. It’s like what you might already use on the Chrome web browser. This makes shopping and filling in forms even easier.
Oreo also uses machine learning to recognise URLs, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. With smart text you can:
- Copy an address or postcode in an email and paste it into Google Maps
- Highlight a phone number and put it straight into your dialler
Stay more secure with Google Play Protect
Android is a big target for hackers, which Google is well aware of. That’s why it’s improved the security of its Play Store to detect and remove harmful apps automatically. Alongside that, it’s also created a range of instant apps that can be accessed without being downloaded.
Did you know? Google scans more than 50 billion apps a day across two billion devices to detect safety threats.
Other features we’re excited about:
- Faster start-up times when you first turn on your phone
- 60 new emojis and a redesign of the current characters
- Find My Device - locate, lock and wipe your phone or tablet if it’s lost or stolen
When can I get Android Oreo?
Rollouts have already started for several Nexus and Pixel devices, including the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL and Pixel C.
If you have a recent phone or tablet from the likes of Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, HTC, Nokia or Motorola, you can expect to get the update at the end of this year or early next year.
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