Google used the ‘great American eclipse’ as a platform the launch Android 8.0 Oreo yesterday. The unveiling wasn’t a surprise, and neither were the new attractions of the latest Android OS, as they were featured previously with the launch of the developer preview and the Google I/O conference. However Google’s marketing dept had taken time to hone its message, shuffle the key new features it wanted to highlight, and work out some kind of branding co-operation with Oreo, the overrated biscuits from Mondelēz International.
In its summary of the new OS, Google says that Android 8.0 Oreo is “Smarter, faster, more powerful and sweeter than ever. The world’s favourite cookie is your new favourite Android release.” Now that the OS is final, and headed to end users via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and OTA rollouts ‘soon’ for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C – we might as well recap the main new features:
- Android O boot speed is 2x as fast (as measured on the Google Pixel)
- Background app activity is minimised to help your battery last longer
- Autofill, with your permission, helps you complete forms, logins etc with greater speed
- Picture in picture helps you multitask on your phone
- Notification dots let you quickly reveal and hide new alerts
- Android Instant Apps within your browser get you into an app without installation needed
- Google Play Protect protects your device from rogue apps
- There is support for over 60 new emoji characters
- And more
Google says it is working closely with partners such as Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo.