Android O feature spotlight: Picture-in-picture video for all devices and new windowing features
Android O Feature Spotlight: New background limits help save battery life
Android O feature spotlight: Android O will supposedly make navigating Android with a keyboard suck less
Android O feature spotlight: Official autofill API will save you from typing the same thing over and over
Android O feature spotlight: Android will support wide color gamut profiles in apps
- View All 39 Articles In This Series
If you've ever used a keyboard with Android, you'll know that the operating system and apps weren't exactly designed around arrow keys or tabbing. And, honestly, there wasn't much in the way of motivation for Google to fix this, historically: Android devices with keyboards are few and far between these days, so why care?
Then Android apps on Chromebooks happened, and suddenly, a lot more people are using their keyboards in apps that traditionally only ever saw touch-based interaction. In recognition of this, Google is promising that Android O will offer considerable improvements in the consistency of the experience of navigating your keyboard-equipped (or connected) device by providing more standard behaviors for the arrow and tab keys, in particular.
It's not clear exactly what Google means by this at this point, but maybe we'll see Google start mapping certain common navigation intents to these keys by default, as I have a feeling just telling developers they need to do this probably won't land it high on their 'to-do' list. It's definitely the sort of change that needs a more active hand from Google in order to really see progress. We obviously don't know how Google will accomplish this yet (the developer documentation may yield nuggets), but it's encouraging that they're making it a priority.