Google details Android O developer preview

Google Play Edition

Google Play Edition

Though most Android users are only now starting to get the Android 7.0 Nougat update for their mobile devices, the latest reports suggest that Google is already hard at work on the next version of its mobile operating system (OS) - Android O.

With notification channels, it appears Google is taking some things it learned with bundled email and applying it to Android O. The new feature will introduce "app-defined categories for notification content", giving users the ability to block or change the behavior of a channel individually.

Well, seeing the current situation and the growth rates, soon the time will come when the market will be dominated by Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat. No news yet on when it gets a proper name.

Battery life has been a key focus for Android teams at Google. For example, now apps won't be able to do as much with location updates while they're running in the background - which can be a big battery suck.

Autofill APIs: Android aims to make setting up new apps or placing transactions easier with platform support for autofill.

With Android O, Google is also letting developers create adaptive icons.

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Other new user-facing features of Android O include picture-in-picture for watching video while you're performing other tasks, adaptive icons that can change shapes and animate interactions based on what the device wants, and keyboard navigation that includes better "arrow" and "tab" navigation.

Here's a nice idea.

Google has finally - yes, finally, finally, finally! - given Android OS its own default file manager, that's accessible as an app, in and with Android O. Autofill Google is adding a new autofill API which will allow apps to act as autofill agents. Until the Goggle Nexus 6P, every Google smartphone was bigger than the previous one and now, that trend is allegedly coming back. It's not clear yet whether, as speculated last week, apps icons will adapt to show users new information, such as the correct day on the calendar.

Notifications are getting a boost in Android O too. However, the feature set is out in the open with the release of a developer preview build for recent Google devices. This should improve upon the Bluetooth A2DP protocol used today.

If you're feeling ready to take the plunge, you'll also need a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel C or Pixel XL, as installable disk images are only available for those devices.