Before today’s Google I/O keynote, Google had released the developer preview of Android O, revealing the exciting features coming in the update. Turns out, Google wasn’t completely forthcoming back in March, and shared even more features to expect when the software hits later this year.
First up is news that Android O is receiving a big performance upgrade in the form of a sub-OS: Android Go. Android Go is a special version of Android that is specifically made for lower-end devices. Any phone that comes with Android O will have a special version of Android Go equipped. A phone running 512MB or 1GB of RAM will use the Android Go version that includes specialized apps meant to use less resources. The app Google spent most time talking about was YouTubeGo—a stripped down version that uses less data and performance power to deliver videos.
Android O will also received a major feature that wasn’t available with the first developer preview: Notification Dots. The feature is essentially like the notification badges found in iOS. The differences is that the Android’s Notification Dots will adapt to the design of the app logo—and if you long press on an app with Notification Dots, you’ll get a quick preview.
Google is putting extra focus on Android’s background performance with what it’s calling Fluid Experience and Vitals. This will keep Android running efficiently and feature security enhancements. These security measures will scan for threats using machine learning and scan Google Play apps for threats. The entire operating system should see better optimization, including improved boot times and app speed improvements.
The last detail that should be of interest is that Android O is now available to anybody. If you own a compatible device, you can join the Android O beta and try out all the new features starting today.
Overall, Google I/O was a solid event for software but not for hardware. You can read some of the notable omissions we noticed at the event here.
For a complete breakdown of everything that’s new with Android O, check out Jon’s video up above.