Google added a search function to the Android settings app back in Android 5.0, making it far easier for new users to find exactly what they need. Starting with Android O, the search results not only contain subtext to better explain the results, but apps are now included as well. Read More
While Android 7.0 already offered a pretty extensive rethink on Android's stock settings app, it appears Android O will go a step even further than that, overhauling the interface and navigation model extensively.
The first thing you'll notice is that Google is moving to an organizational approach much more like a smartphone manufacturer, organizing categories of settings at higher levels, resulting in a much shorter top-level settings list. It's half or less the size of the settings menu on the Pixel on the current Nougat beta - which should tell you how extensive a change this is. Read More
Android N will be responsible for some big changes to phones and tablets, but that doesn't mean there aren't going to be some interesting things happening to the Android TV platform, as well. Installing the developer preview images onto a Nexus Player reveals some welcome improvements to the look and behavior of the Settings app, including a new visual layout and support for multiple accounts.
New Design for Settings
Left: previous version. Right: Android N Preview.
The Settings app has been given an entirely new look. Say goodbye to multiple rows of tiles, they've been replaced by a single column that looks very similar to the regular Settings app on phones or tablets, except it's anchored to the right side of the screen. Read More
The developer preview of Android N may have been released a week ago, but we're still discovering loads of changes and new stuff across the OS. The most recent one that's come to our attention is a new toggle in Sound Settings for mono audio, which makes both left and right audio channels get played back simultaneously through any active sound output.
There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to play sound in mono instead of stereo. Many people prefer listening to music with a single earbud in their ear, but with stereo playback this meant that half the song was never heard. Read More
We've already covered lots of changes in Android N's settings menu, but one thing we didn't mention is a new Suggestions box that shows up on top of the settings but below the contextual settings (for Battery Saver or Data Saver for example).
When you first launch Android N and if you haven't activated Google Now / OK Google yet, you'll see a suggestion to go to Voice search and actions and enable it. After you start using your device, you'll start seeing other suggestions like changing the wallpaper or setting up a screen lock if you haven't already.
Left screenshot courtesy of +Francisco Franco
For now, these suggestions seem to be smart and not pester you with settings that you've already modified. Read More
WhatsApp has frequently been in the news on Android Police lately because it seems that the team is on a roll of updates, both big and small. After adding document support (PDF only) and introducing a bunch of UI modifications, it's now tackling the Settings screen which has never seen any real drastic changes in recent times. It switched to Material Design when the whole app interface did and it got a few additions here and there as the app has gotten more features, but the Settings have always been divided and organized in the same way for years. And that's no more. Read More