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Android O feature spotlight: System UI Tuner gets a new navigation bar customizer

If you haven't noticed, today is a big day for Android fans. Android O has been made official, at least in an initial Developer Preview form. We here at Android Police are working hard to bring you relevant information and we figured this one might be of interest to some of you out there: the System UI Tuner is getting a new navigation bar customizer.

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Android O feature spotlight: You can snooze individual notifications for 15m, 30m, or 1hr

Android's notification system is great for letting you know when something happens, but what if you don't want that particular notification in your face right now? You can dismiss it, but then you might forget to deal with it. Android O introduces snoozed notifications, and it's super-easy to do.

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Android O feature spotlight: Home screen notification badges are now supported

Several mobile operating systems support some kind of notification indicator for applications on the home screen. iOS has had notification badges for years now, and one of Windows Phone's most recognizable features are live tiles. Starting with today's O Developer Preview, Android will now officially support notification badges on home screen icons.

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Android O feature spotlight: Android will support wide color gamut profiles in apps

Color profiles aren't exactly a sexy topic, but in the worlds of professional photography and video, knowing what colors your display can accurately reproduce is hugely important, and equally important is knowing exactly which color profiles it's capable of representing. To date, supporting color profiles in Android has largely been incumbent upon device manufacturers and chip vendors, meaning there was no one solution for figuring out which profiles a device could display. With Android O, Google will offer a native way for developers to specify a way to display their apps in wide color gamut modes if a device marks them as supported.

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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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