Android Oreo official: 7 smaller (but cool) features you should know

Android Oreo

Google decided to use yesterday’s Eclipse across North America to reveal Android O’s name, and yes, it’s going to be called Android Oreo.

We already know about the big features, such as Project Treble for streamlined updates, notification dots, picture in picture mode and autofilling login details. But here are a few more features Google has listed alongside the Oreo name.

60+ new emoji

One of the biggest user-facing changes is the “fully redesigned” emoji library, giving them all a welcome facelift in the process.

But Google didn’t stop there though, confirming that it’s added over 60 new emoji characters to the platform, such as a dinosaur, a woman with a head scarf and a “mind blown” emoji.

Accessibility improvements

Apple’s iOS generally ranks quite highly when it comes to features related to accessibility. Google isn’t standing still in this regard however.

The company has implemented a button on the navigation bar for quick access to these features, such as magnification, “select to speak” and other related features.

Google has also focused on accessibility volume, allowing these services to “optimise the audio experience for users with disabilities”.

Finally, Android Oreo also allows fingerprint scanners to be used as an “alternative input mechanism”.

Snooze your notifications

Usually your options for notifications are limited to turning on priority notifications or do not disturb. But Google is offering a handy tweak in Android Oreo.

Now, Oreo will allow you to snooze notifications for a period of time in a similar manner to Inbox. Ideal for meetings or if you just don’t want to run into that person.

An easier way to install apps from third party sources

Normally, Android users have to visit the settings menu to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources (although some brands let you allow it on an app-by-app basis).

“Hostile downloader apps can’t operate without permission; users now permit the installation of APKs per-source,” Google says of Android O. In other words, if you’re using Chrome to download apps from third party sources, you can whitelist the browser.

An easier way to share files?

Google has also implemented a streamlined method for sharing files, but it’s not 100% clear how this will work just yet. The Linkable Files API essentially “allows you to share files across the internet via web links”, reads a description.

Android developer Ian Lake says that the new function will reduce the need to do the “download/upload dance” and should work well with cloud providers.

Smart sharing

The latest version of Android will also attempt to learn more about a user’s preferences, proactively giving you suggestions for sharing.

“For example, if a user takes a photo of a receipt, Android 8.0 can suggest an expense-tracking app; if the user takes a selfie, a social media app can better handle the image. Android 8.0 automatically learns all these patterns according to users’ personalized preferences,” read a description on Google’s Android developer website.

Two new “dangerous” permissions

Android’s permission system is a pretty neat way of sussing out dodgy apps. Is a game requesting permissions for everything from your contacts to sending text messages? Screw that.

Now, Google has implemented two new permissions in Android, in the form of the “answer phone calls” permission and the “read phone numbers” permission. The tech firm adds that they’re “both classified as dangerous“, being related to privacy.



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