Google has officially introduced the latest OS called Android Oreo and it’s faster, smarter, and more powerful than ever. Certainly, Android Oreo is a great improvement over Nougat with a number of features like picture-in-picture mode, system-wide auto-fill support to help you navigate your tasks seamlessly. If we are talking about security measures then the latest Android OS has stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at high speed. This latest dessert from Google has plenty of changes in store, ranging from redesigned looks to under-the-hood improvements along with cool new stuff to explore. In this article, we’ll tell you about 30 useful Android Oreo features to make you more familiar with the latest OS of Android.
Let’s go ahead and have a look at all new Android Oreo features and functionalities.
Android Oreo Features
The first useful feature among our list of secret Android Oreo features is how to use Notification Channels. Google plans to group notifications into channels, giving you more control over your app notification categories. Thanks to a new feature called Notification Channels, you will be able to customize certain kinds of categories of notifications from apps.
Notification Channels enables you to have a command over how notifications appear on your Android device. Notifications can be clubbed into categories, set by the developer, and thus you can customize the categories such as Updated apps, High priority, Account alerts, etc. You can swipe notification from left to right or right to left until you see a gear icon. Just tap on the gear icon and then go to All Categories to explore the category options for that app.
Watching a video, getting directions on Google Maps, or continuing a video call while multitasking on your Android device has now become possible with Android Oreo’s new picture-in-picture mode. Oreo will provide a native picture-in-picture framework for video apps allowing you to continue watching clips in a small window while navigating elsewhere. So, the next time when you’re chatting with a friend in Google Duo or watching a video, just tap on the home button to activate this new feature. It is probably one of the most useful Android Oreo features.
Notification Dots is also one of the most important Android Oreo features. Notification Dots are the visual indicators on app icons that’ll show if you have any waiting notifications. The app icons on the Home screen and on the app drawer carry a small colored badge. If you press and hold the icon with a badge, it shows the notifications and actions associated with that app.
One advantage of Notification Dots is that you can check notifications for a particular app instead of searching through the pile of information which appears in the notifications shade. In addition, the colored dots you see can adapt the color theme of the app icon.
Either you’re going to hate the small dot placed on top of an app’s icon when you have a pending notification or you’re going to love the added touch to keep you on top of potentially missed alerts. You can also disable the notification badges with a long-press on the home screen, followed by a tap on Settings menu. Next, slide the switch next to Allow notification dots to the Off position.
Turn On WiFi Automatically
The next feature among our list of secret Android Oreo features is how to turn on WiFi automatically. Google has introduced a toggle button called Turn on WiFi automatically. Once the feature is enabled under WiFi settings, Android connects a saved WiFi network to the GPS coordinates. So, every time you’re near that network, the WiFi on your device will be turned on automatically to connect to the saved network.
You can find this option under Network & Internet > WiFi > WiFi preferences. With the Turn on Wi-Fi automatically switch enabled, your phone will always switch on WiFi when you’re at a location where you’ve connected to a WiFi network in the past.
Well, forgetting app passwords is really frustrating. With Android Oreo, Google will offer to fill login forms with information saved in your Google account or in third-party password apps that have integrated with the new feature. This is also one of the most useful Android Oreo features you can try on your device.
The new autofill framework allows the Android system to save and suggest autofill data after analyzing the content on your phone’s screen. You can configure this feature by navigating to Settings > System > Languages & input > Advanced > Autofill service. So, let Google fill in your credentials and log into the app.
Better Storage Management
If you’re running a valuable storage space on your device, you can use this feature for the betterment of storage management. All you need to do is just go to Settings > Storage > Free Up Space. You will find the option to delete contents of downloads folder or uninstall apps you haven’t used in a while to free up valuable storage space.
You’ll find that it’s a lot easier to clear away redundant files and cached data in Android O. Earlier, the Storage feature within Settings menu had a handful of basic categories that you could view to see your available storage. But now, there are specific categories for Games and Movie and TV Apps. Once you select one of these categories, you’ll see all of the apps that are using up your precious phone’s storage space. Among our list of essential Android Oreo features, this feature also plays an important role.
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Google has redesigned emojis for your Android device. The new emojis now look more cartoonish and it’s easier to decipher exactly what each face is intended to convey. Google has finally ditched the blob-shaped smilies in favor of more traditional rounded ones and most emojis now have a gradient applied to them.
Redesigned Settings Menu
The most obvious visual change is a redesigned Settings menu, which features subtle dark gray text on an all-white background. Well, the side navigation menu released in Nougat is gone; however, all of the various menus have been re-categorized to make the Settings menu as simple and straightforward as possible.
Revamped File Manager
The built-in file manager of Android is not the best on the market, but it’s nice to have a way for browsing files without having to install an additional app. Things are looking up as the Files app in Android Oreo got a bit of a makeover. It still has not reached feature parity with apps like Solid Explorer and FX File Manager, but it allows you to view, delete, and open files.
App Shortcuts and Widgets
If we are talking about Android Nougat, users could long-press on an app icon to use app shortcuts for common tasks. But, with Android Oreo, the look of shortcuts and widgets has been refined and you can now access an app’s widgets from the shortcut menu as well as its info screen. Isn’t amazing? Well, it is.
Rescue Party will help prevent boot loops, which is one of the most dreaded mobile phone issues. When core system components are crashing over and over again, Android will notice and take steps to recover the device. As a final resort, it will reboot into Recovery Mode and offer you the option to factory reset your device. This feature will be enabled by default and doesn’t require any special hardware, though it’s only for phones running Android Oreo. Try using this feature among our list of secret Android Oreo features.
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Smart Text Selection
The next feature among our list of useful Android Oreo features is the smart text selection. The text selection menu in Android Oreo has also been updated. Instead of fiddling with text selection tools, Google is adding smart text selection to its latest OS of Android.
Basically, Android Oreo will identify things like addresses or phone numbers on its own. Just double-tap on the text to auto-highlight what you need to copy or simply use the new app shortcut next to the Copy button to speed up the interaction.
Scanning Apps for Safety
No doubt, Google has offered its security measures more prominent throughout Android Oreo. This feature is found in the Settings menu under Security from where you can view how often apps are scanned and when they were last scanned. Most probably, this section will also help you deal with an app Oreo deems unsafe.
Change the Shape of App Icons
The ability to modify the shape of apps is already one of the most widely known Android Oreo features. It’s easy to tweak the shape of your icons, but the option isn’t directly visible inside the Settings menu.
You can find it in the Home screen Settings menu. Just tap and hold a free area on the Home Screen. And then tap on Settings > Change icon shape. You can now change the shape of app icons without installing a theme or launcher. At present, there are four different options – square, rounded square, squircle, and teardrop.
However, it’s not clear if the ability to change the shape of app icons in Oreo will end up being limited to the Pixel launcher or if it’s a feature coming to all Oreo devices.
Persistent Notifications Get Smaller
With Android Oreo, you can still view the entire notification with just a tap, but by default, the notification will be minimized.
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This is one of the coolest Android Oreo features as you can now snooze notifications with a quick swipe and tap. If you have a text message or email you want to deal with later, just swipe to the right on the notification until you see the clock icon. You need to tap on the clock, select the duration of time you want to snooze it for and then, go back to what you were doing.
Better Battery Life
Battery life is always a big concern, which is why Google often makes improvements with new versions of Android. Google’s Doze mode in Android Marshmallow and Nougat helped preserve battery life by keeping your phone in a lowered power state, but now Android Oreo promises to do even more hard work to prevent apps from draining your phone’s battery.
Developers will be able to create adaptive icons offering multiple shape options that automatically shift based on your home screen theme. Oreo hopes to keep your home screen grid uniform and unified by enabling creators to pack in multiple options.
Improved Sound Quality
Google offers audio quality enhancements in Android Oreo. The latest OS of Android will bundle high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs to improve the quality of wireless cans and utilize Sony’s LDAC technology to enable for Hi-Res audio playback over Bluetooth. Sony has apparently been a major partner for that inclusion, contributing great feature enhancements and over 250 bug fixes to Oreo so far.
Google is also set to add Sony’s LDAC codec, which has been donated to Android by the Japanese tech giant. This should improve upon the Bluetooth A2DP protocol currently used today. The company is also introducing AAudio, which should result in improved low-latency audio.
Google provides some kind of multi-display support for launching an activity on a remote display.
Camera App Improvements
Google is spending some time reworking the camera app, offering a new double-tap feature that lets you quickly get to 50% zoom. There’s also a new dedicated button that lets you switch between photo and video modes; previously, users were forced to swipe, which some may have found unintuitive.
Improved Keyboard Inputs
Android O will allow app developers to improve keyboard navigation, making it perfect for moving through games and apps when seated at a Chromebook or another Chrome OS-based computer.
Updates Even if You’re Out of Space
Well, you will be happy to know that future updates to Android Oreo and beyond will still continue to install even if your device is out of storage space. Basically, the update will stream from Google’s servers to your phone and install on the fly. You just need only 100kb of available space in order to install an update.
Earlier, you could enable a toggle button in the developer options to allow the installation from Unknown Sources. Once the option was enabled, almost every app on the system could install additional apps from untrusted sources, giving an invite to malware. But things have changed with Android Oreo. Now, you need to give the permission to the Android app that’s downloading the untrusted APK.
Let’s say, you need to allow external sources for apps like Google Chrome or some third-party app stores. The change has been brought to improve the overall security of the Android system. You can manage the apps that have External Sources permissions by navigating to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Special App Access > Install Unknown Apps.
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WiFi Assistant and Google VPN
Android Oreo comes with improved WiFi Assistant which helps Android automatically connect to open networks when available and also connects the device to a Google-back VPN as a security protection.
In order to turn on WiFi Assistant, go to Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi > WiFi Preferences. After this, you can enable the toggle option that says Connect to open networks. Now, Android will automatically connect to open WiFi networks and a WiFi assistant VPN key would show up inside the notification shade. And you will see a Connected via WiFi Assistant status for your network connection. The feature currently works in a limited number of countries including Canada, US, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, etc.
Night Light Slider
This is also one of the best Android Oreo features so far. With Android O, you can now adjust the intensity of the blue light filter when using Android’s Night Light mode.
Background Execution Limits: Optimize Your Battery
Android Oreo has been configured to keep an eye on the apps run in the background and consume resources. Currently, only a few apps are updated to Android API level 26, which bars Android to monitor them. For this activity, the Background Activity is enabled by default.
You can force these apps to stop running in the background if you’re not able to get even a day out of your battery. Just head over to Settings > Battery. Under App usage since full charge section, look for the apps consuming more battery. This hidden feature would allow Android Oreo to control the background processes.
Easy Ways to Clear Storage on Android O
The Storage section in the Settings menu has been updated to provide a categorized view of the apps consuming space on the device. Smart Storage is an existing feature that complements the revamped storage section. It automatically removes images and videos from your device when the storage is almost full. This happens only to the files which have been backed up to Google Drive.
System UI Tuner
The SystemUI Tuner allows you to do various things like removing the app icons from the status bar for WiFi, Bluetooth, and Battery. However, the features would still work as they are intended. You can enable this feature by tapping and holding the gear button within the notifications bar. When turned on, you can access it in Settings > System.
Wide Color Gamut in Imaging Apps
Smartphone displays are constantly improving and OLED panels are more abundant than ever. Google promises that the makers of imaging apps will now be able to make better use of high-end displays, especially with handsets that feature panels capable of supporting a wide color gamut.
That’s all we have in our list of 30 useful Android Oreo features. Till then, stay tuned for more updates.
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