Google launched the public beta of the next major version of its mobile operating system, now only known as Android O, at this year's Google I/O developer conference.
The Android O public beta is still a bit unstable, but it provides a good glimpse on what users can expect from the mobile operating system once its final version is released. Some of the new features that users can expect from Android O were revealed when Google released the first developer preview for the operating system in March, but here's a quick recap of some of the most interesting ones.
Android O Notifications
Android O will come with a new feature known as Notification Dots. When dots appear on the icon of an app, it means that there is new content waiting for users. Instead of swiping down to look at the notification shade to view alerts, users can view their notification by pressing and holding on the app's icon with Notification Dots.
The new operating system will also have Notification Channels, which will make more important notifications such as email from work much easier to see. Users can tweak the settings to help Android O determine which notifications are important and which ones are junk.
Android O Vitals And Wise Limits
Google introduced a battery-saving feature in Android Nougat known as Doze that hibernated apps that are running in the background. For Google O, the function will be further expanded through Vitals and Wise Limits.
Vitals quickens the boot time of Android O to as much as twice when compared to Android Nougat. Wise Limits, meanwhile, places additional limits on background apps. Google promises that with these two features combined, users will see significant improvements in battery life, stability, and performance.
Android O Copy Less
The Copy Less feature of Android O combines machine learning and computer vision to help cut down the number of times that users need to copy text from one app and paste it in another.
For example, when users switch from a conversation on where to eat in a messaging app to a restaurant review app, Android O will know that the user is looking for a restaurant and bring up suggestions. After settling on a restaurant, Android O will suggest replies upon switching back to the messaging app.
Other Android O Features
There are many other features that users can expect from Android O, including a picture-in-picture mode, wider autofill support, smarter text highlighting, and improved Bluetooth audio.
There is also Google Play Protect, which will automatically check apps for vulnerabilities, and Project Treble, which Google hopes would help reduce the significant issue of fragmentation among Android devices.
How To Try Android O Beta
Users who would like to help test Android O before its final release may do so by signing up for the Android O Beta Program.
The eligible devices to participate in Android O beta testing are the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus Player. Users who sign up for the program will be asked to provide feedback on the beta version of Android O to help improve it before its public release.
Users under the Android O Beta Program are allowed to opt out at any time to return to the last stable version of Android, but all the user data on their device will be erased.