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Google releases Android O with ‘big priority’ on improving battery life

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Android O release

While you might be waiting to test your apps on Android Nougat, Google has moved a step ahead and released the first developer preview of Android O. The new open source project is touted have a “big priority” on improving battery life and enhances performance on compatible devices.

Battery life is one big concern on Android devices. Though Android engineers at Google had tried to fix various bugs on its Lollipop, Marshmallow and the recent Nougat versions, the issue persists mostly across all the smartphones and tablets.

But with Android O, the Sunder Pichai team is planning to deliver a better experience by enabling some automatic limits on apps running in the background. This advances the power optimisation that was a part of the Nougat release last year.

“Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android O puts a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and device’s interactive performance. To make this possible, we have put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services and location updates,” explains Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google, in a blog post.

The latest changes are claimed to enable apps to have minimal impact on the hardware and thus enhance the battery life.

Developers are recommended to learn the tweaks to make their apps compatible with the new background limits. Google has already built documentations on background execution limits and background location limits to make things easier for app makers.

Other major changes

Alongside the enhancements to improve battery life, Android O is all about an uplifted experience. There are new notification channels that enable app-defined categories for notification content. The operating system also works with autofill APIs to add login details and repetitive information automatically to certain forms.

The new Android version additionally includes some root-level changes to uplift the existing user experience. There are font resources in XML as well as adaptive icons and wide-gamut color capabilities for apps.

Also, Google has provided a large number of Java 8 Language APIs and runtime optimisations to take on other mobile platforms including iOS.

How to download

You can download the very first Android O Developer Preview on your Nexus or Pixel device. The new version comes with an updated SDK to make your development even easier. Moreover, an emulator is specifically designed to let you test your Android Wear 2.0 apps on Android O.

A manual download and flash is currently the only available channel to install the O release on compatible devices. But notably, you should only install the preview to test your development skills. It comes with some hidden bugs that can downgrade the performance of your device.