Google’s Android OS, the most-used mobile OS in the world, is now on its eighth iteration. Android 8.0 has been simply called Android O for some time and now that it is ready for prime time, Google revealed that the O will stand for Oreo. This is in line with the naming pattern used by Google which uses names of desserts. Oreo, like KitKat from versions ago, is not strictly dessert food but who are we to argue with Google? This is the second time that Google has used an actual product name to call an Android version.
Google said that Android 8.0 Oreo has undergone more than a year of development and months of testing by developers and early adopters. This should be enough to correct major bugs, if any, and to polish this version. Nothing revolutionary has been introduced in Android 8.0 Oreo but it’s nonetheless better than the previous version. This version brings features such as picture-in-picture, autofill, integrated Instant Apps, Google Play Protect, faster boot time, among others. It has also introduced a redesigned emoji set.
Together with the announcement of Android 8.0 Oreo, Google has pushed sources to Android Open Source Project. The first devices to get Android 8.0 Oreo updates are the Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P phones which will start rolling out in phases over the next several weeks, and the Pixel C and Nexus Player. Updates on devices should follow soon as Google claims to have been working closely with manufacturers like Essential, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Samsung, Sharp and Sony. The projection for the rollout of Oreo updates is end of the year.
In essence, the main features of Android 8.0 Oreo are the following (as stated in the Android Developers Blog:
Picture-in-picture lets users manage two tasks simultaneously on any size screen, and it’s easy for apps to support it.
Notification dots extend the reach of notifications and offer a new way to surface activity in your apps. Dots work with zero effort for most apps — we even extract the color of the dot from your icon.
Autofill framework simplifies how users set up a new device and synchronize their passwords. Apps using form data can optimize their apps for Autofill, and password manager apps can use the new APIs to make their services available to users in their favorite apps. Autofill will roll out fully over the next few weeks as part of an update to Google Play Services.
For a walkthrough of the features of Android 8.0 Oreo, here’s a video from Android Authority.