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Google has given us a first look at Android O
Google has taken the wraps off Android O for the first time.
The next generation of the company's mobile software will come with a number of new advances and improvements, which have been shown off today for the first time.
Set for launch later this year, it looks like Android O will be Google’s most advanced build yet – but it could also bring a number of extremely useful ways to save you power as well.
Several new features were shown off by Google as part of its Android O Developer Preview, with one of the most eye-catching being a new way to conserve and extend your device’s battery life.
The new “background limits” feature will limit exactly what operations your apps can do whilst running in the background.
This includes cutting down on background services such as location-based updates and what Google calls “implicit broadcasts”, all of which can use up processing power and drain your battery.
Android O will now allow you to monitor and cut down exactly what services are running at any given time, which could prove the difference between your phone dying when you need it most.
The new 'Notification Channels' will help bring together multiple updates from the same app
Among the other major changes to Android O is a major development in how notifications are displayed.
New “notification channels” will allow apps to bundle together multiple alerts into a package that users can browse easily.
For example, users will no longer receive separate notifications for each Facebook comment, photo tag, or friend request, or a news app would display different ‘categories’ of notification.
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Google has also shown off a number of other new additions in Android O, including a picture-in-picture mode for phones, following a launch on tablet devices last year.
There will also be "adaptive" app icons that will allow for a tidier home screen, and support for autofill apps that means you don’t need to spend too long filling in forms.
Developers can try out Android O on various Google-made devices using the official Android emulator now, however there’s no news on a date for a public launch just yet.
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Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
One thing that Google didn’t confirm today, however, was the name of Android O.
The company is well-known for naming its software builds after sweet treats, most recently announcing Nougat, Marshmallow and Lollipop.
The current favourite title for the new launch is Android Oreo, following a teasing tweet by a senior Google executive earlier this year, but the company has not confirmed anything yet.
We’ll most likely find out more at the company’s Google I/O event, set to be held from May 17th, 2017.