On Wednesday Google I/O 2017 started with a keynote by CEO Sundar Pichai and his team. Some big announcements were made and Android O was one of them. The Android O segment of Google I/O was broken up into two sections: Fluid Experiences and Vitals.
Fluid Experiences encapsulate the new features and functionality coming to Android with the upcoming update. The first of those is Picture-in-Picture, which will allow users to hit the home button and return to the home screen while minimizing the active app into a small window. This feature will be supported by YouTube, Netflix, Google Maps and “a lot more” apps when it arrives alongside Android O.
Notification Dots are another notable addition to Android. In Android O, small dots will appear on launcher icons on the home screen when you have a notification from the app. You can long-press the app icon to see the notification without actually having to open the app. Google says that the color of the Notification Dot will actually respond to the color of the app icon as well.
Other Fluid Experiences include the ability to use Autofill in apps aside from Chrome and smart text selection for copy and paste. From now on, when you select a string of text, Google’s neural network will attempt to figure out exactly what you want to copy, be it a name or an address.
Finally, Google says that TensorFlow Lite (a more compact version of its open source machine learning software library) will be available on Android phones later this year.
Apart from this, Google highlighted some additional features that will be coming with Android O such as Smart Text Selection, which improves copy and paste through the help of machine learning and Notification Dots for developers to notify users about about activity on the app, driving engagement, among other things.
Faster load times is always a good news and Android users will appreciate these subtle tweaks under the hood if it helps save on time and battery. For those wondering about the same for entry-level phones, Google has them covered as well with the announcement of Android Go, which is a version of the mobile operating system that has been optimised for smartphones with 1GB or less RAM.
Last, but certainly not least for the crowd full of developers, Google introduced Play Console Dashboard, which analyzes every app and points out the top six issues causing performance issues like battery drain, crashes and slow UI. Developers will be able to see how many users are affected and will be provided with some potential fixes to make the app run better on Android devices.