Google has released the latest version of its Android mobile operating system (OS). It is named after Oreo chocolate biscuits.
The OS adds a new ‘picture-in-picture’ mode that lets some apps run in a small corner of the screen. Google’s own Nexus and Pixel phones are expected to be the first to receive the software update.
New versions can be slow to roll out; only 14% of Android devices run the previous OS, Nougat.
Android Oreo introduces measures to help people manage the volume of notifications on their devices.
App developers will now be able to split notifications into categories, so people can block some types of alert while still receiving others.
Other features include:
- ‘smart copy-and-paste’, which highlights an entire address, telephone number or web addresses when people try to copy it
- limiting how many system resources apps can use while they are running in the background, to reduce memory use and battery use
- Instant Apps, which lets some services invoke parts of their Android apps, even if people have not installed them
- a redesigned set of emojis, which look more like the ones seen on Apple’s iOS
The software was released this evening to coincide with a solar eclipse visible on the east coast of the United States.
‘Up to manufacturers’
It is up to phone manufacturers to decide whether to make the new software available on their existing devices.
“We’re pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today,” said Sameer Samat, vice-president of product management for Android and Goofle Play.
“Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player.
“We’ve also been working closely with our partners. By the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo.”