As of Q1 2017, Android held an 85% market share of the number of devices running the operating system. Marshmallow having the highest and Nougat having the least. Nonetheless, the latest version of Android has been in the development phase for a couple of months now and the final release is expected soon. The new version of the OS was expected to accompany the launch of the new Pixel lineup of devices. Contradictory to that speculation, David Ruddock of Android Police has stated on Twitter that the final build of Android O should drop in a week’s time.
David also claimed this statement earlier in June when he said that the update should be rolled out in the first half of August. This may also hold true as Android Nougat was released on August 22, 2016, and it would be the right time now for Google to push the new version of Android to its devices.
Considering this information to be true, many OEMs will be able to provide Android Nougat by the year end for their flagship devices. The first devices to run the brand new OS will be the Pixel devices followed by others. As far as other devices are concerned, they should receive the update over the following months, if at all.
As far as what the new OS will be called is still unknown and should be revealed soon as well. In terms of changes that we’ve seen in the 4 beta versions that have been rolled out yet are:
Adaptive Notification Dots:
These dots are similar to the number badges that can be seen on iOS sans the numbers. These notification dots can indicate pending actions on selective apps and reduce the time required for you to dig into the notification tray and find the responsible app. These dots also follow the minimalistic material design and maintain a clean look.
Performance Upgrades and Bugs Squashed:
The second through the fourth beta saw considerable improvement in performance. Battery life saw an increase thanks to optimisation of the software and doze feature. There was also a camera delay that plagued devices in the third beta and that was fixed as well in the latest beta. Other minor optimisations were also done to make the overall feel of the new operating system more smooth and pleasant.
Picture-in-picture has finally made its way to Android where you can watch a video and continue using another app. This feature was previously available in the Youtube app in Android where a playing video would display on the bottom right while you could still browse other videos. In the Android O Beta, while watching a video on YouTube you can tap the home button and the video would now play on a smaller window at the bottom. You can also move the window around so it doesn’t interfere with your other tasks. You can simply swipe the window off the screen if you don’t need it anymore.
The Octopus Easter Egg:
With the fourth developer preview, came a new easter egg, an eight-legged Octopus that has a head similar to what a graphic Oreo would look like, floating on the screen. Coincident much? Maybe not. The eight legs do signify Android version 8.0 however it is yet to be seen what the Oreo looking head of the octopus really means.
There have been many other minor changes that Android O users will experience, however, to sum it up, most changes are related to offering better control over the Android system. Other system UI changes are also visible throughout the OS. In addition to that, there have also been welcome improvements such as better Bluetooth audio support.
Are we going to see the update in the coming week or even by the end of this month? Most likely yes, however you probably won’t be able to experience it before the year end, not unless you own a Google Pixel or a Nexus device. Do let us know your views and opinion in the comments section below.