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Android O

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[Update: Any notification can be compacted] Android O feature spotlight: Persistent notifications are more compact

I hate persistent notifications. I like dropping down my notification shade and seeing nothing there, otherwise I get very OCD and feel like there's something that requires my attention, but then I see there really isn't because it's just a persistent notification. Even if you don't mind these and even if these always get pushed to the bottom of the list, they can clutter up your notification drop-down and make it more difficult to manage.

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Android O feature spotlight: Android System is already using notification channels

There are some cool things you can play around with in the Android O preview, but some of the most useful features won't be available until developers start implementing them. For instance, the new notification channel feature. As it turns out, Google has already implemented notification channels in the Android System. That means you can get a feel for how it'll work.

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Here's how to enable Picture-in-Picture mode in Android O right now


Last year, Android 7.0 introduced picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, making it possible to shrink a playing video down to a floating window that appears above all other content, allowing users to continue watching a video while taking care of another task. Unfortunately, at the time PiP mode was only available for Android TVs, so very few people ever got to take advantage of it.

That changed with Android O, which has brought PiP mode to Android devices with screens much smaller than a television's, including phones and tablets. However, since Android O is so new and few developers have had the time and resources to update their apps, it's hard to find any app that actually supports PiP for now.

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Android O feature spotlight: There's a cool new animation when opening or closing notifications

Android O was revealed last week, and Google talked about the neat stuff it can do via blog posts and videos. We didn't get all the little details—those nice touches that make you smile, realizing Google takes design seriously these days. Case in point, there's a rad new animation when you open and close the notification shade. Let's watch, shall we?

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Android O feature spotlight: There's now a progress bar for sideloading APKs

When installing apps from the Play Store, you can see a progress bar for the download. The actual installing part doesn't have any indicator at all in the Play Store app, and when installing from an APK, all you get is a pulsing progress bar. Android O has fixed this annoying problem, at least when installing from APKs.

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Android O feature spotlight: Text selection dialog now has icons and contextual actions

As we continue to fiddle around with Android O, more interesting little things pop up. For example, the text selection dialog is more useful. It shows icons next to actions, and certain types of content will give you handy shortcut buttons. This might not be high on the Android O changelog, but you're going to see it plenty.

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[Update: more details] Android O feature spotlight: Notification Channels give more controls over notifications to users

Android has allowed blocking notifications from selected apps for a while now, but it was all-or-nothing. Android O aims to give users more control over what notifications they want to see, through the new Notification Channels API.

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Google posts Android O overview video for developers

Android O is in the wild now, and developers are already toiling to bring new features to their apps. We're still a long way from release, but there are many new features for developers to play around with in the meantime. Google has posted a quick video to give devs (and curious normals) an overview of what's new in Android O.

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All the Android O features we've found so far [Continuously Updated]

The past week has been the Big-O week for all of us involved in Google's ecosystem and the Android world. The follow-up to Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat was announced as Android O — full name still unknown — and the developer preview images were made available for those who want to test it out and check all the new features.

That caused our inboxes to overflow with tips of all the major and minor and super minor changes in Android O coming from our readers, and it got our team to work overtime to verify and report them. We still have many O feature spotlights on our to-do list, some of which we're still investigating, but in the meantime, we thought we'd put together one list of all the Android O features we've covered so far.

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AgileBits shows us how Android O's autofill API works with a 1Password demo

One of the most exciting changes in Android O is the new Autofill API that would allow password manager apps to register as system-wide providers of autofill services. In layman terms, this means that apps like LastPass, 1Password, Enpass, Dashlane, and others, won't have to use accessibility services or screen overlays anymore as a workaround to fill up your usernames and passwords. Instead, they will have one API that grants them native access to enter your information without too much hassle.

AgileBits has put up a demo of a test version of 1Password, its password manager, which has been updated to benefit from O's Autofill API.

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