Google has made Android O Beta program live now for those interested in getting Android O Preview builds OTA. Once enrolled you will be treated to the very first OTA update which is Android O Dev Preview 2. The Dev Preview Build 1 was limited to Developers and was not made available OTA because of its highly experimental nature.
We were able to join Android Beta program on our Nexus 5X and get Android O Dev Preview 2 Build OPP2.170420.017. You can read below how to join Android Beta and which devices are eligible.
How To Join Android O Beta & Eligible Devices:
You can enroll now at android.com/beta with your device. Android O Beta is available only on Nexus 5X, 6P, and Player, Pixel, Pixel XL, or Pixel C device.
Google has also posted a detailed changelog of Android O with new features, changes and improvements over Android Nougat. You can also check our Android O screenshot gallery to get taste of how Android O looks like.
Android O Dev Preview 2 Detailed Changelog:
Fluid experiences in Android O It’s pretty incredible what you can do on mobile devices today, and how easy it is to rely on them as computers in our pockets. In the O release we’ve focused on creating fluid experiences that make Android even more powerful and easy to use, and today we highlighted some of those:
- Picture-in-picture: lets users manage two tasks simultaneously, whether it’s video calling your friend while checking your calendar, or reading a new recipe while watching a video on a specific cooking technique. We’ve designed PIP to provide seamless multitasking on any size screen, and it’s easy for apps to support it.
- Notification dots extend the reach of notifications, a new way for developers to surface activity in their app, driving engagement. Built on our unique and highly regarded notification system, dots work with zero effort for most apps – we even extract the color of the dot from your icon.
- Autofill with Google simplifies setting up a new device and synchronizing passwords by bringing Chrome’s Autofill feature to Android. Once a user opts-in, Autofill will work out-of-the-box for most apps. Developers can optimize their apps for Autofill by providing hints about the type of data expected or add support in custom views.
- A new homescreen for Android TV makes it easy for users to find, preview, and watch content provided by apps. Apps can publish one or more channels, and users can control the channels that appear on the homescreen. You’ll be able to get started with creating channels using the new TvProvider support library APIs.
- Smart Text Selection: In Android O, we’re applying on-device machine learning to copy/paste, to let Android recognize entities like addresses, URLs, telephone numbers, and email addresses. This makes the copy/paste experience better by selecting the entire entity and surfacing the right apps to carry out an action based on the type of entity.
- TensorFlow Lite: As Android continues to take advantage of machine learning to improve the user experience, we want our developer partners to be able to do the same. Today we shared an early look at TensorFlow Lite, an upcoming project based on TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine learning library. TensorFlow Lite is specifically designed to be fast and lightweight for embedded use cases. Since many on-device scenarios require real-time performance, we’re also working on a new Neural Network API that TensorFlow can take advantage of to accelerate computation. We plan to make both of these available to developers in a maintenance update to O later this year, so stay tuned!
Working on the Vitals in Android We think Android’s foundations are critical, so we’re investing in Android Vitals, a project focused on optimizing battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability. Today we showcased some of the work we’ve done so far, and introduced new tools to help developers understand power, performance, and reliability issues in their apps:
- System optimizations: in Android O, we’ve done a lot of work across the system to make apps run faster and smoother. For example we made extensive changes in our runtime – including new optimizations like concurrent compacting garbage collection, code locality, and more.
- Background limits: up to now it’s been fairly easy for apps to unintentionally overuse resources while they’re in the background, and this can adversely affect the performance of the system. So in O, we’ve introduced new limits on background location and wi-fi scans, and changes in the way apps run in the background. These boundaries prevent overuse — they’re about increasing battery life and freeing up memory.
- New Android Vitals Dashboards in the Play Console: today we launched six Play Console dashboards to help you pinpoint common issues in your apps – excessive crash rate, ANR rate, frozen frames, slow rendering, excessive wakeups, and stuck wake locks, including how many users are affected, with guidance on the best way to address the issues. You can visit the Play Console today to see your app’s data, then learn how to address any issues.