Well I knew getting a Pixel I would finally be able to cut the shit when it comes to getting a new release of Android. I was on a Asus Zenfone last year and I think they just got to M before I got to the Pixel that had N on it. So it was leaps and bounds with a new phone and new android system! So it seems like Google is keeping their promise and rolling out O to all their products coming soon, which is the rumor. I usually don’t like rumors, but this one is pretty probable. If not this week it will happen soon. If not, I’ll just get the beta. Because if there are rumors that the release is soon, then the beta should almost be what the actual release is.
One reason why I don’t know if the release will be soon is that there is no sweet name for Android O. They did say it was going to be a bigger spectacle than the normal unveiling of the robot, so perhaps they got a brand name this time around, like Oreo or Oh Henry! Either way it will have some sweet new things for us to sink our teeth into. Before I get into a list of things that I think are the 5 best things I’ve seen so far about Android O I would like to show off the new app Icon Style: Tear Drop.
You can see it in all the bottom (Except Mail) icons, kind of cool. It is a welcome change to see different shapes, and let’s reflect on the shape called “Squircle” as well! Isn’t that just a rounded circle, the thing above that. I know what I’m doing tonight!
1) Battery Percentage up in the notification bar
Holy Shit! Until I read this I really didn’t notice that wasn’t there! Dammit, it’s 2017 do we need that % taking up space? I would be cool with colors instead, but maybe I’ll get to change it.
2) Video calls can be Picture in Picture
I recently started doing video calls with my wife, it’s easier than trying to explain things I can just show a picture and if our daughter wants to see us it’s pretty cool thing. I like the idea of minimizing my wife like a YouTube video and continue to look at other things like my list, the calendar, or whatever. Some good progress so far…
3) Notification silencing is getting more difficult
Now you can silence individual apps from their notifications. So now there are 4 outcomes of notifications. Turn them off completely, Turn them on Completely, Silence for a given time period, or silence until the user says so. This is actually alright since I get tons of notifications sometimes, and I just want to silence that one app. I know I’ve turned off my Twitter notifications before because I kept getting them and forgot to turn them back on. So a convenience, but not really an upgrade…
4) Better Selecting of Names
Now this is a huge convenience and an upgrade. I don’t know how many times I have dragged those little anchors back and forth on my screen to get a business name so I can google it again and figure out the number or direction. Sometimes I’m in the right spot where google just knows what to do, but other times it is so hard to manage. Luckily the new version will just do it for me. Just tap an hold. Also when it highlights a phone number or address the appropriate app will pop up with context on what to do next. Make a call, go to an address, save for later. Surely I will only use this once or twice, but it will come in handy those times.
5) Introduction of Treble
I’ve talked about the horrors of Android Updates before, I just did it in this article at the top. But I’m not the only one. If Apple did anything right it was that they control the hardware and software. This means when iOS 11 comes out, any device that can use it because of hardware specs or just falling off support, they can just get it! There is no jumping through hoops or waiting for Verizon to put in all their stupid stuff, it just works. With Android it is the exact opposite. I had to wait for Android M to be released from Google, then had to wait for Asus to get all the necessary updates they needed, and then the service provider to finish it up with their updates. Treble is supposed to cut out that process so we will see what happens next time with Android P,
There are a slew of other features, but rather than just talking about what other people have said these are the 5 that I found most interesting. There is of course better battery life, it is more secure, and it will run a lot better. But since those are just bullet points that I can’t see until i get O on my phone, I’ll talk about the more hard fact features as seen in betas that have come out.
A demo of how the Notification Shade looks like now
Fun Fact: French Writer Villiers popularized the term in his 1886 novel L’Ève future. The term “android” appears in US patents as early as 1863 in reference to miniature human-like toy automatons. Apparently, George Lucas coined the word ‘droid’ for the original Star Wars film.