Android O Developer Preview 3 Rolled Out Now. See Whats New!

As we all knew, the 3rd Developer Preview of Android O has been rolled out 3 days ago. While Google’s new OS seems to be mostly in a finished state, there are a few new additions to this third developer preview that are worth mentioning.
Not that the version number of a release really matters, but for people who care about this sort of thing, the third Android O preview spilled the beans on what Android O will be called when it gets released. The “about” screen identifies the OS as “Android 8.0,” killing any speculation about whether it would be called either 8.0 or 7.2. We still don’t know what sugary snack the “O” will stand for, but we’re at least halfway to the real name.

The O Developer Preview runs from 21 March 2017 until the final Android O public release to AOSP and OEMs, planned for Q3 2017.
At key development milestones, we’ll deliver updates for your development and testing environment. Each includes SDK tools, preview system images, emulators, API reference, and API diffs. The milestones are listed below.
  • Preview 1 (initial release, alpha)
  • Preview 2 (incremental update, beta)
  • Preview 3 (final APIs and official SDK, Play publishing)
  • Preview 4 (near-final system images for final testing)
  • Final release to AOSP and ecosystem

Whats New In Android O Developer Preview 2

Google has made Android O (8.0.0)  Developer Preview 3 available now for eligible devices enrolled to Android Beta program. While upcoming Nokia Android Phones are not eligible for Android O Beta program, HMD has already made it clear that they will be the first ones to get Android O update, when made available by Google.
The Android 8.0 Dev Preview 3 brings many unmentioned changes and new features with itself. While Google has been unable to provide a list of changes brought by the update, we were able to notice these changes during our hands-on. We have listed these changes and new features below and have also demoed them in our hands-on video. The device used in this video is LG Nexus 5X.
Way back in Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google introduced the “Palette API” as part of the material design rollout. This API could automatically extract color from a source image and serve it up to an app for UI coloring. It preserved text contrast, and the API pooled colors into a few buckets like “Vibrant,” “Muted,” “Light,” and “Dark.” While the Palette API has been hanging around in Android for a while, Google basically never used it for anything.
  • Android O is now named as Android 8.0.0 in system settings
  • WiFi and Mobile Data icons have swapped places in Notification Center and are back to their original positions
  • A very aesthetically appealing feature comes with Dev Preview 3. If you are playing music then the Album art is used to make your notification banner look beautiful in Action Center. This even appears on the Lock Screen. Check the hands-on to see it in action.
  • If an app is running in background you will be prompted with a notification in Action center now.
  • Battery Settings has got a very nice looking animation that you would love to see in the hands-on video
  • Camera has got UI changes. Now there is a defined icon to swap between rear and front camera.
  • System UI Tuner has many of its Android 8.0 Dev Preview 3 customization options gone in Dev Preview 3.
  • If you have a Pixel device then you can go to Pixel launcher to change the icon shape to an extra option “Teardrop”.
  • WiFi icon now goes from status bar when WiFi is turned off
  • Clock app has a new icon and a new theme too

New Notification Style

That changes with Android O Developer Preview 3, where ongoing media notifications get a beautiful, vibrant color scheme pulled from each song’s album art. This instantly became my favorite feature in Android O—once I saw it was working, I immediately starting tapping through my music collection to see what cool color combos it would come up with. Grungy album art gets a dark color scheme, happy neon album art gets an eyeball-searing notification, and subdued mellow album art gets a matching muted color scheme. And because the API is automatically detecting light and dark colors, I never ran into a single readability problem.

Notification Screenshots

Few screenshots taken from the fresh Android O Developer Preview 3 that clearly shows the difference between Developer Preview 2 & 3. You can check this out!

Media 1
Media 2
Media 3

Media 1

There are new rules for background apps in Android O—basically silent, unbound background tasks are no longer a thing. Starting in the third Android O preview, any app that is doing stuff in the background will have a notification automatically created for it. The idea is to alert users to apps that are running in the background and using system resources. These notifications go in a new spot all the way at the bottom of the notification panel that Google is calling the “by the way” section. Everything here is a tiny, one-line notification, and for the most part it seems like a useful heads-up for the user.
The problem right now is that this notification setup is a little excessive for media apps. As you can see in the screenshots, when a media app is playing music in the background, it generates both a big, colored “currently playing media” notification and a tiny “[Music app] is running in the background” notification. It really seems like, as long as an app is generating a large, ongoing notification, the little one is redundant and should be hidden. Maybe that’s a change we’ll see for preview 4.

Notification Screenshots

Few screenshots taken from the fresh Android O Developer Preview 3 that clearly shows the difference between Developer Preview 2 & 3. You can check this out!

Clock 1
Clock 2
Clock 3

Clock 1

The Clock app gets a new color scheme and a new icon. The icon switches from purple to blue, and the app switches from purple to a nice dark theme. If you’ve ever set your alarm just before going to bed, the darker color scheme will be welcome.

For now, there’s not​ much more to see in the new Android O Preview. Google seems to have much of the UI nailed down now, and while there are under-the-hood stability and bug fix improvements, finalized APIs, and other internal work, there aren’t many user-facing additions to talk about. Google says the final version of Android O should be out sometime this summer

Join Android O Developer Program

Device Download Link
Nexus 5X
Nexus 6P
Nexus Player
Pixel C
Pixel XL

via Blogger


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