Know About Android 8.0 Oreo In Spades

A year after the Android Nougat release, the final version of Android O make its way to the world, which today is deliciously known as Android 8.0 Oreo. The Android OS has evolved with massive changes such as improved performance, robust security, better visuals with small tweaks, excellent user-facing controls, enhanced encryption, persistent notifications and much more.

Android O 8.0 The most comprehensive version of Android Oreo is touted as the most stable, matured and polished as opposed to Android’s previous OS releases. The new features and capabilities offered by Android have unfolded a lot of opportunities for the Android app development companies to innovate and craft amazing mobile apps.

Even, the developers can make the existing app compatible with Android Oreo by downloading a device system image to run Oreo on the test device, and then check the app for compatibility testing to test areas where app experiences behavioral changes. After analyzing the changes, the code needs to be updated and published to make the app work impeccably on Android 8.0 version.

Let’s highlight what’s new, the current version has in the bundle, for Android app development specialists:

What’s new?

Multi-display support with Picture-in-picture mode

The picture-in-picture mode has tweaked the multi-window support by allowing the users to open two apps on the mobile screens at once. Using this feature, the video can be started within any appwhile opening and using other apps. With a single click, the users can toggle the PIP window to full screen or resize it. The developers can play with the features and implement the same differently.

To trigger PIP mode in the app and support multi-window modes, the android:supportsPictureInPicture and android:resizeableActivity must be set to true in the manifest. The indicated activity that can be placed in any corner of the screen when it enters in the PIP mode, it’s kept in the paused state (Not stopped) and as the user taps on the PIP activity, it resumes and starts playing.

With Activity.setPictureInPictureParams(), the PIP configuration settings can be updated for an activity automatically, when it comes in PIP mode. It’s immensely helpful as the activity’s aspect ratio gets changed on various Android devices automatically.

Autofill framework

Keeping the device, account login, or a transaction secured is essential, and that require the users to remember multiple passwords or fill the forms, but the repetitive task ruffles up the user’s feather.

The developers by optimizing the app to work with Autofill framework can allow the users to centrally manage the password, and thereafter forms filing or log in to various accounts will be done in an automated fashion.

To better help autofill services, the app login must provide the meaning of each view that could be auto fillable. The hints are provided with pre-defined values which can be set using android:autofillHints for the views that accept the multiple types of information. For the form filling, the individual fields to include in the view structure can be specified with setImportantForAutofill() method.

The autofill feature level up the security and convenience, saving a bucket load of time with no hassle of copying the text from one app to another when the user chooses the autofill option.

Changed the way fonts are used

Allowing the APK to download fonts or bundling files into it increases the APK size, which in turn affect the app installation rate. Here, downloadable fonts concept introduced by Android 8.0 helps, wherein the support for APIs to request fonts from a font provider application is provided.

The developers can set the app to download the fonts either by using the font provider from Google Play services and Android Studio 3.0 or programmatically or even through support library. The font provider is an application that extracts the fonts and caches them so that other apps can easily share and request them.

When multiple APKs share the same font through font provider and retrieve them when needed, then APK size will get reduced utilizing minimum disk space and phone memory. This uplifts the app installation rates.

Also, when downloadable fonts used in XML, the fonts can be used as a resource and the need of bundling them as a bundle is alleviated. It allows the developers to create a custom font for the theme.

Enhance the visuals with improved iconography and color management

Android 8.0 with new developer tools has brought major visual changes that enable developers to engineer breathtaking UI and UX.

It starts with an adaptive icon feature that has bid goodbye to the static icons with a set of dynamic icons leveraging parallax and pulsing effects. The icons can be altered and made to look different on distinct devices. For instance, the same icon may look circular on one device, while squircle in shape on another device. The developers can infuse their creativity by throwing different masks to the icons.

The support to a wide gamut of colors offers a golden opportunity for the developers to take advantage of the devices that are packed HDR display technology and the color profiles like AdobeRGB, DCI-P3, and Pro Photo RGB in apps that make the Android phones better fit for even photographers. The look and feel of the app with a wide gamut of image display can be made better when a flag in the manifest is enabled and bitmaps with any of the embedded wide color profiles are loaded.

Introduced physics-based animations

The subtle animation tweaks have made the Android brighter and dynamic for which the Android OS was earlier highly criticized. The new physics-based animation has provided a magic tool in the hands of developers that allows them to add spring and fling animations, and the velocity, friction, range or dampness values can be easily customized, which makes the animation impressive.

The Animator Set API makes defining the animation easier with improved support to the Seeking and Playing in reverse.With Seeking, the position of animation can be set to a particular point of time and Play in reverse works great for the app that requires one animation to be played in reverse, which removes the need for defining two separate sets of animation.

What has become better?

High control over notifications

The developers can create user-customizable notification channels for different types of the notifications that app will display to the users. All the notifications posted will have the same notification categories, but users can modify the behavior with settings.

The timeout can be set for the notifications when they are created with setTimeoutAfter(), which enables the automatic cancellation of the notification on the smartphones after the specified time elapses.

Also, the notifications can be removed programmatically, once they are dismissed by the users. It can be determined by the implementation of the onNotificationRemoved() method from the NotificationListenerService.

What’s more? The background color can be enabled with setColorized() and set with setColor() function for the notifications to be sent for the ongoing tasks.

The redesigning of the notifications has made the management of notification settings and behavior easy. Now, the Android app developers have enough tools leveraging which notifications can be better managed.

Improved security

The new security feature – Google Play Protect scans the mobile round the clock and keep an eye on all the apps to ensure that no malware can put a dent in the mobile security. That’s a great tool!

But, it’s not enough. There is a lot behind the scenes. Android’s developer menu has become more secure with the mandatory requirement of entering Pin or Passcode to turn it on. Besides, the developers cannot track the users using Android ID- the software identifier that can track individual devices.

The final words

Under the hood, Oreo is the most reliable and smarter version of Android loaded with impressive features and customization options that have made OS easier to use, added convenience, minimized pain points and improved performance.

Also, a bundle of great resources, frameworks, and set of APIs is offered to the developers to build the app efficiently or enhance the existing app in new ways. Developers- let’s get started with experimenting!

What we have discussed so far, are the surface-level features and major changes come with Android 8.0 release. Still, there is much more left to discuss. Stay tuned with us to know more about Android Oreo 8.0.

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