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Android O: All the new features in Google’s next major update

Published Mar 22nd, 2017 2:20PM EDT
Android O Features, Changelog, and Release Date
Image: YouTube

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Google on Tuesday came out with the first developer preview of Android O, its next major Android update. You can already install it on supported devices including last year’s Google Pixel phones, and we’ve already shown you the most important new features of the upcoming mobile OS upgrade. However, there are various other features baked into Android O that fans will want to know about, including behind-the-scenes improvements and plenty of user-facing tweaks.

Android O might seem like a boring update at first, since it doesn’t have any major features yet that might come anywhere close to being game-changers. However, that wouldn’t be a correct assessment of Google’s next Android upgrade. The company is taking several steps to offer an improved Android experience, whether that means extending battery life, offering more granular control over notifications, or overhauling the Settings app.

We’ve already looked at some of the best features in Android O — better battery life and performance, higher-quality audio, revamped notifications, picture-in-picture videos, and keyboard support — but that barely scratches the surface. In fact, it’s also likely that Google has kept some things secret and will unveil more features at its upcoming Google I/O event in May.

In the meantime, there are plenty of new Android O features you should be interested in, such as:

  • A new Settings app that’s been rebuilt from the ground up to offer a better way to manage the phone
  • Autofill APIs that let you quickly fill in saved passwords from passwords manager apps
  • Adaptive icons that should bring a more cohesive look to Android across devices regardless of an OEM’s customizations
  • Wide-gamut color support that will improve graphics on high-end devices
  • Wi-Fi Aware for direct Wi-Fi transfers of content without the need for an Internet connection
  • WebView improvements that should enhance security in apps that offer web browsing features

The following videos from 9to5Google, Android Central, and Droid-Life will show you what Android O looks like right now, and explain how some of the features listed above work.

Android O will be released in the third quarter of the year, so there’s plenty of waiting in store. If you want more information about Android O, check out the full change log at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.