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Major New Features of Android Oreo

Android has grown a lot over the years, and Google has been consistent in introducing more features to their mobile operating system that make our lives easier. There are some major new features of Android Oreo that you will surely love. That is, if you’ve gotten the update yet. Even though my ancient Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge still hasn’t received the Android Oreo update, I was lucky enough to grab a friend’s Google Pixel and test out some of the new features.

Thankfully, Android doesn’t change drastically between updates. Sure, there are some incremental adjustments to the interface and design, but the base remains the same. Quality-of-life upgrades are also present in this version of Android, and they are, just like always, a very welcome change. Some of the major new features of Android Oreo are so subtle that you won’t even feel them at work. So without further chitchat, let’s discuss and dissect the major new features of Android Oreo.

1. Power Saving

The biggest issue smartphone owners across the world face is short battery life. Even though manufacturers are coming up with clever ways to conserve battery life, there is still something left to be desired. While chip manufacturers are coming up with more power efficient hardware, Google doesn’t want to leave it all the hardware guys, so Android Oreo comes with some great power saving features for phones beyond just the Pixel.

For one, Google has put automatic limits on background app activities in the latest version of Android. This means that the operating system will specifically limit background usage including broadcasts, background services, and location updates. This translates to less energy consumption by apps when you are not actively using them and longer battery life as a result.

Another great feature is the ability to check out which apps are consuming the most battery power. Usually your most used apps like Twitter or Facebook would end up on the list, but which apps are draining your battery life with background activities may surprise you. Of course, battery saver apps can still come in handy to limit and detect power consumption when using Oreo or older versions of Android.

2. Project Treble

Project Treble is the name Google has given to their new vendor interface.  Android Oreo will be more modular than previous versions, so manufacturers can use it to access implements from component vendors. Speaking in English, this means that manufacturers like Samsung can have relatively easier access to parts made by Qualcomm, MediaTek etc.

This will make the Android updates flow more easily on third party smartphones and tablets. As the whole process can be achieved independently, the basic theory is to speed up the updates you get from the manufacturers. As a Samsung fan, this makes me quite happy.

3. Better and More Secure Apps

Google is now very active in nudging developers towards optimizing their apps. Google Play Protect is a background service that will quietly analyze the behavior of apps in an effort to detect malware and, if found, automatically remove it from your device and from the Play Store itself (exactly how that part works is still a bit fuzzy right now).

Google is also being a bit stricter on developers when it comes to stability and performance. If the app falls in the bottom 25 percent, the dev will get a warning and if there are no improvements, it might result in the app being pulled off the Google Play Store.

4. Faster Reboots and Apps

Android 8.0 brings in some pretty sweet changes to the reboot times of your devices. As XDA reports, the update reduces them by up to 50%.

The update will also dramatically increase application performance. These are some meaty upgrades that will surely make users happier.

5. Rescue Party

This is a great feature to be introduced in the new Android 8.0 Oreo. Rescue Party is a feature that helps prevent boot loops. Boot loop, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is what happens when the device starts up and restarts immediately over and over.

When core systems are not running well, Android will take notice of that and try to return them to their default states. If that doesn’t work, it will reboot automatically in the Recovery Mode and provide the option of a factory reset as a last ditch effort.

6. Wi-Fi Aware

Compatible smartphones will be able to use Neighbor Awareness Networking and communicate with nearby devices without an internet connection. We will be taking a closer look at the feature as it develops.

7. Google Autofill

Are you tired of having to copy and paste passwords from your favorite password manager app? Google resolves this annoyance by bringing Autofill password management to Android. This feature allows you to manage all of your passwords in a single place and will result in an easier and more secure way to log into your accounts. And the best part is that it syncs across devices, so if you’ve used Google Autofill while browsing the internet with Chrome, you’ll have access to all that login information via your mobile device, too, as long as you’re using the same Google Account.

Looking Forward

These were just some of the basic improvements Android 8.0 Oreo brought to the table. We are totally in love with the direction Google is taking us and are thoroughly enjoying the ride. What new features are you excited about? I’m hoping that the new, faster manufacturer updates will become a norm and people who don’t have access to a Pixel device can also enjoy the latest version of Android.

So what are your thoughts about Android 8.0 Oreo? Tell us in the comments below.

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2 Comments

  1. If your Galaxy 7 is ancient, what is my Galaxy s6 Edge Plus??? My phone works great and I have a very difficult time replacing the hardware when everything is like new on my unit! The only question is why it is taking so long for us to get the update. Is this like aapl degrading phone experiences by dumbing the phone down so we have to buy new?
    My carrier is Sprint, so i don’t expect anything fast – but i have been reading about Oreo for some time now. Is the hold up strictly these companies trying to force us to buy new???

    1. Hi, Mark! There are a few different reasons updates take a while – or don’t happen at all. For one, once Google puts out a new version of Android, manufacturers have to add in all their stuff, like drivers and skins, before the update can go out to that manufacturers devices. On top of that, because so many manufacturers release so many phones a year (Samsung alone released a couple dozen in 2015, when the S6 Edge came on the market) they have to prioritize which ones get updates. Finally, newer versions of Android simply have higher hardware requirements, making it difficult or impossible to run on older devices.

      As for your S6 Edge Plus, Samsung has not made an official announcement that they will release Oreo for that particular device, but there are rumors that they will at some point. You can, however, expect an update to Nougat in the first quarter of 2018. While you wait for Oreo, your best option is to keep an eye our for a custom ROM based on Oreo, like LineageOS, that’s compatible with your device in order to get the closest possible experience.

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