It seems Google is now beginning to let its beta users transition into the next evolution of Android.
The company has now officially ended the Android Nougat Beta Program, likely because it'll soon replace it with a newer beta program for the next version of its operating system — Android O.
Google Ends Nougat Beta Program To Make Way For Android O
The Beta Program's landing page confirms the change, revealing a vague "coming soon" release schedule for Android O.
All users enrolled in the current Beta Program will have their devices updated to the latest public version of Nougat.
The first Android O developer preview was released late March, bringing features such as picture-in-picture mode, notification channels, and adaptive icons, among many other subtler refinements to the system. The second developer preview is expected sometime in May, possibly when Google kicks off its I/O developer conference come May 17. The Android O Beta Program might also launch during this time. This means that you might get your hands on a beta version of Android O later this month.
The Android Nougat Developer Preview was originally released in March 2016. The program's goal was to collect elaborate feedback from those most authorized to give them — developers themselves. It helped Google become aware of potential issues, and subsequently apply adjustments and refinements to the software as necessary.
Android O: A Glimpse At The New Features
Android O is no secret to many. Rumor has it that it's called Android Oreo, which, if true, will be Google's second Android version named after branded confectionery. The first one was KitKat.
The first developer preview in March already gave us a glimpse on some of the OS's features — ones which boast added customizations, ease of use, improved audio quality, and system optimizations that can reduce battery consumption.
On the customizations front, there's adaptive icons, as mentioned above. These will let developers create different designs, shapes, and other options for their icons to blend in with whatever aesthetic or style the system is set to. This is handy mainly for the reason that phone manufacturers slap on custom Android skins, which often comes with custom icon shapes. Adaptive icons ensures that the design and visual elements are consistent throughout the user interface.
Android O will also go big on autofill. It will let users choose a password manager that'll handle all their autofill needs. "All" is the operative word here, because it literally means all — passwords, credit card information, and more.
To save battery life or at least make battery consumption more efficient, Android O will limit background app activity when users have other apps open. This will ensure that your device isn't bogged down by background processes you might not need at a given moment. For instance, if you're playing a game and Google Maps happens to be running in the background, there's no need for the latter to frequently do location updates, thus, saving you more charge.
Of course, the second developer preview doesn't guarantee that the stable version of Android O will roll out soon. In fact, it's quite the opposite — the beta program's purpose is to ensure that the OS has the fewest kinks possible before it lands on everyone's devices eventually.
Expect due coverage when we find out about Google's official release schedule for the Android O Beta Program.
Were you part of the now-concluded Android Nougat Beta Program? Are you pumped for Android O's inevitable arrival? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!