It’s mid-March, and it’s also a Friday, so there’s not a lot of major tech news going out today. So that makes it the perfect time for some unconfirmed rumors to hit the Internet about the next version of Android, which is also known as Android O in the media.
9to5Google started it out today. It claims, via unnamed sources, that the next Android OS will include some kind of “new notifications” but exactly what that means is still a source for speculation. It also claims that it will have some kind of picture-in-picture mode similar to the one found in Android TV. In addition, the report claims that Android O’s app icons will have some new badges for any active notifications. The article also mentions something called a “smart text selection floating toolbar”, which would somehow work with Google Assistant. The story also mentions some improvements to the MediaRecorder API for Android O.
For its part, Android Central claims some of 9to5Google‘s rumors are similar to what that site has heard, and some of them are not (it doesn’t say which ones are which). It does throw in its own claims, including that Google Assistant will be a bigger part of Android O compared to Nougat, which is not that much of a surprise. It says that Assistant will be a “system aware entity” in the next big version of Android, with new way to integrate itself into other applications.
Some, or even all of these new features might pop up in the next version of Android, but others might just be research projects for now. It’s also very possible that any or all of these rumored additions might be in the works now for Android O, but they could end up not being implemented into the final build of the OS when it is released. That’s still expected to happen sometime in the fall of 2017. Until then, all of these rumors should be taken with a grain of salt.
Only one thing seems certain for now; we will most likely get our first information on Android O starting on May 17 when the 2017 Google I/O developer conference begins. We will be on the ground during that conference to get all the first-hand info on the next version of Android, along with all of the many other announcements and reveals that will be made during Google I/O 2017. Stay tuned.