A preview of Android O is available for developers now

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Google will be kicking it old school with images for the Nexus 5X, 6P, Player, and the Pixel, Pixel XL, and Pixel C. There’s a Wear 2.0 version of Android O, but it’s only available via the emulator. Google’s blog post says Android O “puts a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance.” “Automatic limits” will be used. The documentation was not yet presented. Google identified apps’ aggressive use of implicit broadcasts as a big reason for battery drain and sluggish performance, and it even shut down the “connection change” and “new picture” alerts in Android 7.0 Nougat. All implicit broadcasts were shut off, and apps would have to totally rely on Job Scheduler.

Multiwindow mode and split screen are not necessarily enough for phones and tablets. Better keyboard navigation, better wireless audio are also the new goals for Android O. Autofill APIs will allow users to select a designated autofill app. Apps will provide a bunch of notification “channels” that the user can manage. Font resources in XML will make fonts a “fully supported resource type” in Android O, allowing developers to add a custom font to an app just as easily as they add images or text. WebView multiprocessing is now on by default. Google says the Android Runtime (ART) is “faster than ever before, with improvements of up to 2x on some application benchmarks.” To download Android O you will need to manually flash the software to your device, but be warned that this will remove all data from the device.

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