Meet the Android O developer preview Meet the Android O developer preview

As we've already told, Google has recently released the first developer preview version of Android O. I know that we've already talked a little about its features, but I figured that the newest version of Android deserves a bit more attention, so I've decided to write an article in which we can discuss at length the coolest new features brought by the operating system. So, without any further ado, here's everything that you need to do about the newest Android O.

Let me begin by telling you that if you're not a developer, you've got nothing to gain by installing Android O on your device at this point. I believe that Android N (now known as Nexus) was a lot more stable when its first developer preview was launched as Google decided to make it an over-the-air update. However, with Android O that is not that the case, so in order to install the new operating system on phone or tablet you need to manually download the system image and flash your device. Furthermore, Android O works on a very limited number of devices, so if you don't own a Pixel, Pixel L, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P or Nexus Player you won't be able to install it.

As far as features are concerned, here's a list with the most important novelties:

  • Picture-in-picture mode - probably the best new feature is the picture-in-picture mode, which allows users to interact with two apps at the same time by overlaying one on top of the other. The function works pretty much the same way as it does on Android TV and it's especially useful for those who want to continue watching a video while doing something else like answering a text or uploading a photo.
  • Quick Settings - Android O lets you do more from the Quick Settings menu. Some of the configurations such as WiFi, Do Not Disturb or Bluetooth can be turned on or off by being tapped, but they also have a line underneath them. If you tap that line a small sub-menu will drop down, giving you more options.
  • Snooze notifications - Except for small shade-related changes, the notifications look pretty the much the same as they do on Android Nougat. However, what's really cool is the fact that you can now snooze notifications from a new menu that shows up when you swipe them a little to the side. Furthermore, the Notifications Channels feature allows developers to better group up notifications.
  • Settings menu - The settings menu seems to be the most changed aspect as Android O introduces a new color scheme, a reshuffle of the entries and fewer items than Nougat.
  • Navigation bar - Android O's navigation bar gives you a few layout options letting you choose between normal, compact, left-leaning or right-leaning mode, a feature that is very useful if you want to control your devices with a single hand. Furthermore, you can also add extra buttons on the navigation bar.

According to Google's schedule, Android O will be launched in August or September and until then, there will be three more developer preview versions, one in May, the other in June and the last one in July.