This week Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) released Android 8.0, and this time named for a crowd pleasing favorite of the dessert world, Oreo. As Android continues to mature, the changes are not going to be as dramatic. There are some visible changes, but more important are a couple of tweaks under-the-hood designed to improve performance.
On the blog announcing the availability of Oreo, Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management Android and Google Play, said, “The latest release of the platform… is smarter, faster and more powerful than ever.”
What makes it smarter is a picture-in-picture feature so you can see two apps at once, which can come in handy when you are on a video conference call. Notifications have also gotten smarter, with dots identifying new updates for apps. This lets you take quick action for security updates or other options with apps you use most.
The speed comes from the way Oreo boots up. According to Samat, it can be up to twice as fast on Pixel. In addition to fast boot times, Autofill lets you login more quickly to your apps (with permission). And Instant Apps teleports you directly into new apps without installation.
If you are a small business outside of the office using your smartphone or tablet to work remotely, all of these features will make you more efficient. But the last improvement, which makes Oreo more powerful, extends the life your battery while ensuring the security of your apps and device.
Oreo extends the battery by minimize unintentional overuse from apps in the background, which are notorious for draining the power.
The security is improved with Google Play Protect. This feature will let you lock and wipe your device remotely, as well as locate it with Find My Device. It also checks on your device and applications for “harmful behavior.”
When Can You Expect The Android Oreo Update for Your Device?
The Android ecosystem is a fractured one, which makes it difficult to gauge the availability of new updates across all vendors. In the blog, Samat said, Pixel, Pixel C, Nexus 5X/6P and Nexus Player have entered carrier testing, rolling out in phases soon (no exact date). But if you own these devices and you can’t wait, you can update them now by going to the Android Beta Program page set up by Google.
As for other vendors, Essential, General Mobile, HMD Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade their devices. The end of 2017 and beyond are the expected dates.