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android o


Android O feature spotlight: Official autofill API will save you from typing the same thing over and over

We all know the pain of typing in the same block of text the zillionth time on Android. The keyboards are better these days, but it's still an unnecessary annoyance. On desktops, there are any number of text-expanders and autofill helpers, but those sorts of apps are essentially hacks on Android... at least they have been until now. Android O will support a new API for autofill apps.

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Android O feature spotlight: Android O will supposedly make navigating Android with a keyboard suck less

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.

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Android O Feature Spotlight: New background limits help save battery life

Just about every new version of Android has reportedly improved battery life for end users... with a range of successes and failures over the years. In the upcoming Android O, Google is banking on a new feature called background limits to extend battery longevity. The basic idea is that the system will automatically limit the active capabilities of background apps, in a way that won't be detrimental to users while reducing overall resource use.

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Android O feature spotlight: Picture-in-picture video for all devices and new windowing features

Google added support for picture-in-picture (PiP) on Android TV devices (above) with the update to Nougat, but developers haven't exactly been rushing to add support. Maybe now they'll get on it. Android O is adding support for PiP video on phones and tablets.

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Android O feature spotlight: Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) mode for WiFi

Android O will include big, obvious changes like picture-in-picture and new icons, but some of the low-level stuff could be just as impactful down the road. For instance, the addition of Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) support for WiFi. It could allow devices to find each other and communicate over WiFi without an access point.

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Android O Feature Spotlight: Adaptive icons give devs and OEMs easy shape masks, extra effects

Each version of Android improves the tools that developers have at their disposal, and that certainly includes visual tools. Starting with version N and the Pixel Launcher, Google seems to be increasingly pushing circular icons. One of the new features in Android O, available in its first Developer Preview today, is the ability to automatically change the shape of any given icon with the new adaptive icon toolset.

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Android O Developer Preview Supports Nexus 5X and 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel and Pixel XL, and Pixel C

As the world turns, so too does the cycle of Android updates. The first part of 2017's version bump, known only as Android O for the time being, was just announced. And just like the last two years, developer preview versions will be available for some of the latest officially supported Google hardware. This year that list includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, and Pixel XL phones, the Pixel C tablet, and the Nexus Player Android TV set-top box. You can download the new images here.

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Google announces Android O: Focus on power management, notifications, and more


As some had expected based on the timing of last year's Android N announcement, Android O was due sooner or later, and today's the big day: Meet Android O. Which, obviously, doesn't have a full name yet, and probably won't for a long time. So for now, just make up conspiracy theories about those concentric circles up there.

What does Android O do? When can you get it? We'll aim to answer all that in posts to come, and I'll give you the brief summary here.

First, when can you get it? Well, Google says Android O developer preview images should be available for flashing soon (they'll be here), but it's not clear when "soon" is, but we'd tend to assume based on last year that means today.

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Android O rumor points to revamped notifications, picture-in-picture mode, and more

Google will most likely take the wraps off Android O at I/O this year, possibly with a developer preview for us to test. What's going to happen in Android O? No one is sure yet, but 9to5Google has posted a few rumors. These are all unconfirmed, but we may see changes to notifications, icon tweaks, picture-in-picture, and more. Or it might have none of these things. That's the thing about rumors.

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