Android Nougat Beta Program Closes, Heralding the Arrival of Android O Beta

Google Pixel 2 coming with Android O (Oreo)

Google is already losing focus on Android Nougat as its shuts down the beta program, making way for the new and more powerful Android O coming out this year, presumably to be released to the public alongside the Google Pixel 2 range of smartphones in October 2017.

We’re covered many of Android O’s upcoming features, and we’ve even seen some of them in early developer preview builds over the past few weeks. Ahead of the Google I/O conference, Google is expected to officially launch the beta program for Android O.

All users who opted in to the Android Nougat beta program will now get updates to the current public version, based on device and carrier. Android O beta will kick off soon, giving users the option of signing up to that.

While the full features and functionality of Android O will only be revealed at I/O, some of which are listed below:

  • Background process lockdown for memory optimization: That means all background processes such as location updates will have automatic limits to ensure thrashing doesn’t occur, especially on low-memory Android devices.

  • Adaptive icons: With Android O, developers merely pick a background image for their icons, and the OEM’s skin will select the optimal design for those devices.

  • Better Keyboard Navigation: Keyboard-based inputs are being enhanced, but still in early stages. This leads us to the next big feature

  • Copyless Paste Feature: This brings the AI element into Android O, allowing users to paste content based on context rather than after having to copy it to the clipboard.

  • Better Android Apps for Chromebook users: Ever since it was teased that Chromebooks would get Play Store access, Google and devs both have been working on the best way to deliver a device-specific experience. Keyboard navigation from the previous point is one of those initiatives. Again, early days, and it’s going to take a long time before a sizable bulk of Android apps get the right kind of keyboard support. That could be why Chrome OS 58 on the stable channel brought neither Play Store nor Android apps to Chromebooks.

Android O also hopes to bring better Bluetooth audio support, as well as picture-in-picture capability to Android devices.

We’ll only see the full features list at I/O, but these teasers are good enough to let us know that Android O is going to take Nougat devices to the next level. As we mentioned before, let’s hope that Google doesn’t do another Nougat and hold back the OS from OEMs for too long. As of now, Google says OEMs will get Android O in the third quarter. Let’s see if that pans out.

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Source: 1redDrop, Economic Times