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All the new features
July 25 2017, 08:40 | Alexander Lowe
It's not surprising that the next major release of Android will be "O" since Google follows the alphabet for its Android updates, but today's news is significant because Google also revealed some details of Android O.
Android-powered devices may also receive new app icon badges for active notifications with the upcoming update.
There aren't a ton of new user-facing features that've been announced for Android O yet, but that's because it's still in an early developer preview.
Nevertheless, the obvious point of all these code names is that Google normally uses these names as hints about the actual products.
The new "background limits" feature will limit exactly what operations your apps can do whilst running in the background.
The goal is to make apps, both old and new, less taxing on your battery by making the limits more transparent for developers.
However, it is important to note that Google is not launching the release immediately via Android Beta. Feature parity among supported devices, specifically Google's own devices, is one such area of improvement. This way, users can block or change kinds of notifications in group, rather than muting all the things an individual app is trying to communicate.
Split-screen multi-tasking is no longer a chimera for Android, but Google wants to improve on that with a picture in picture feature. Going by the features cited by Google, the new Android O comes with improved notifications under the feature called 'notification channels.' With this feature, users can group particular notifications based on their interest. Notifications it distributes would then be assigned one of these categories. Just like Android TV, Android 8 or Android O could bring the picture-in-picture mode too.
Picture in Picture (PIP) display is now available on phones and tablets, so users can continue watching a video while they're answering a chat or in another app. So that, but OS-wide. Supporting apps will allow their main content to be popped out into a sticky window that persists on the display above other apps.
Adaptive icons that can change shapes depending on the device (circle vs squircle, for instance), and even support visual effects for Android animations. This means your vehicle head unit's call and reject buttons will work with third-party apps (think VoIP) too.
AAudio API for Pro-Audio: Here's a new native API that is designed just for apps that require high-performance, low latency audio.