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Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ now official, offers PiP and other improvements

Google has unceremoniously ended what has now been a long-running speculation game as to what the letter O will stand for in Android 8.0. Yesterday, the Internet search giant finally revealed that the latest version of Android is called simply Android Oreo. And yes, it’s named after the famous cookie. It’s similar to the deal that Google had going once with Nestle’s Kit-Kat, which served as the mascot for release version 4.0 of the famous mobile platform.

Android 8.0, or Oreo, is deemed by Google as an “Open Wonder,” and is described as smarter, faster, more powerful and sweeter than ever. It offers speed improvements, fewer background tasks, a couple of interesting new features, and it’s coming to Android phones near you.

First up in Oreo’s list of improvement is the 2x boot speed when powering up, based on times tracked by Google through the Google Pixel smartphone. Google also says that the performance has been kicked up a notch by reducing the background activity in apps that you use the least, which frees up memory that you can then use on those apps that you are running actively.

And as for the actual new features, Google has added Picture-in-Picture, which will allow you to do two things at once, literally. In Google’s hero example, PiP will allow users to have a video call while accessing other apps like Google Now, Calendar, or Settings, among other things.

Oreo also includes Autofill, which is a now-standard auto-complete feature for Android that now works even in non-Google apps and services. It’s rather odd that Google has decided to tout this as a headline feature, as Autofill has been available as a sort of convenience feature for years. But maybe there’s a special integration that we’re missing, which will be clear upon actual usage of Oreo.

There’s also the introduction of Notification Dots on apps, which lets users quickly see what’s new and easily clear them by swiping, all from the Home screen. And there’s a new feature called Android Instant Apps, which is a way to “teleport directly into new apps right from your browser, no installation needed.”

The Oreo update also comes with the latest Android Emoji support, Google Play Protect, and a few other small improvements. If you’re eager to try it out on your own, all you need to do is wait until it hits your Android device of choice. It should be rolled out first to owners of the flagship Google Pixel, as well as the Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, and Nexus Player.

Meanwhile, OEMs including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are all expected to receive their respective updates by the end of the year. And new devices running Oreo out of the box are scheduled to come out by then as well.

What do you think of the super-charged Android Oreo update? Is it enough to convince you to stay on the Android hype train? Or are you tempted to try other mobile platforms for a change?


Android via The Keyword