Google was not going to let its Google I/O keynote finish up without a mention of Android O. The company used the event to show off some of the features coming in the next version of Android, including some demos of what it calls Fluid Experiences and Vitals.
Android O Beta Program begins for eligible Pixel and Nexus devices
Fuild Experiences are supposed to help smartphone owners get more done, even with a device with a small screen. One of those features is Picture-in-Picture, which allows for better multi-tasking on phones, such as watching a movie on Netflix while also checking a calendar. Another new feature is Notification Dots, which will give app developers a way to give owners a way to inform them that an action is now available. Long pressing on that notification will show more information on that action.
Another feature that’s coming to Android O is Auto-Fill, which will allow apps to automatically fill in user names, so that users can quickly sign into apps. Finally, Android O will have what’s being called Smart Text Selection, to help with copy and paste functions. It will use machine learning to recognize commonly copied words like business names or phone numbers and will quickly copy them without having to spend time moving and selecting each and every letter or number.
Google also announced TensorFlow Lite, which is supposed to help apps perform faster with the use of machine learning on smartphones. We will learn more about this feature and how it will work during the rest of Google I/O.
The second Android O feature theme described in the keynote is Vitals. This will help improve battery life, security and OS optimizations in smartphones. This includes the addition of Google Play Protect, which will scan all apps that come from the Google Play Store to make sure they are safe. Apps should run faster and smoother via new Android O Vitals features, while also improving battery life on phones.
Finally, Google is launching Play Console Dashboards, which will show developers performance issues like battery drain, crashes, slow user interfaces and more in their apps, along with suggestions on how to fix these problems.
If you own a eligible Pixel or Nexus device, you can sign up now for the Android O Beta Program to get an early version of the OS before it launches later this summer.