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Some of Android O’s most important new features may have just leaked

Published Mar 20th, 2017 1:57PM EDT
Android O Rumors: Features and Release Date
Image: Ng Han Guan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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We have no idea what Google’s next major Android update will be called, but a new report appears to reveal some of the most important new features coming to Android O (Android 8.0).

According to 9to5Google’s sources, Android O will be a “substantial update” that will bring over a bunch of new features.

Android 8.0 will have new notifications, the report says, although it’s not clear what that means. The site notes that an earlier rumor said Android 8.0 would merge Android and Andromeda notifications — the latter is supposedly an unannounced Google operating system that incorporates Android and Chrome elements. The new notifications would display across a variety of devices owned by the user and would show on whichever Android gadget is currently in use, according to that rumor.

Android O will also come with app icon badges for notifications that will display how many notifications an app has. The icons will be adaptive, which means their images might change depending on certain parameters, as is the case with the Calendar icon that always shows the date in Android Nougat.

Picture-in-picture mode is supposedly coming to Android O, as is an AI-based “smart text selection floating toolbar” that should make copy-and-paste jobs easier. Expect the Google Assistant to be included in this new tool, according to the report.

Another exciting new Android O features concerns battery life. Apparently, Google will do with apps what it did with Chrome 57, reducing power consumption for background activity so that more battery life is saved. Android 8.0 supposedly features “lots” of improvements to the MediaRecorder API and “tons of enterprise stuff.”

It’s unclear at this point when Android 8.0 will be unveiled or released. Last year, Google launched the first Android N beta much sooner than expected in March 2016, well ahead of the last Google I/O conference. This year, Android O might not be previewed until May, which is when Google I/O 2017 is set to take place.

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.