Google shows notification dots, smart text selection, optimizations in 'Android O'

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Major features of Google's next iteration of Android have been revealed at the I/O developer conference, with "Android O" gaining a Picture-in-Picture mode, notification dots on app icons, and the ability to autofill data within apps, shown alongside improvements to the security and speed of the mobile operating system.




The "Fluid Experiences" updates to Android O was started off by the addition of a picture-in-picture mode, shrinking the app down so another can be used alongside it. Hitting the home button while a video is playing places it into the picture-in-picture mode, with the smaller video able to be swiped away when it is no longer required.

Video apps including YouTube and Netflix will support the multitasking function, but it will also be usable by other apps as well, including Google Maps. This could feasibly allow someone traveling to a destination to access the camera app while still being able to see where to go on the map.

Notification Dots are small dots on the app's icon, advising that the app has a notification for the user, a function that has been used on iOS for a considerable amount of time. A long press of an icon with the dot will bring up a small menu just above the icon, detailing the notifications without opening the app.




Google is also expanding the utility of autofill, the feature that automatically places a user's details into a form, from Chrome to apps. Android will provide suggestions for usernames and other details that can be placed into forms within apps that are being used elsewhere, saving the user from retyping the data.

Text selection is being given an overhaul, with machine learning being used to make it easier to select individual words or sentences. After analyzing text, Android will automatically select names, addresses, and other commonly highlighted details, saving the user from adjusting the selected area manually.

Google considers machine learning to be a major part of the mobile experience, teasing an upcoming project called TensorFlow Lite. Based on TensorFlow, Google's open source machine learning library, the Lite version is designed to be fast and lightweight, with Google also working on a Neural Network API that TensorFlow could use to speed up computation.

The second major section, "Vitals," covers behind-the-scenes elements of Android that impact speed and security of the operating system. For a start, the boot time of Android O is twice as fast as the current publicly-available version of Android, with Google having made "extensive changes" to the Android runtime to optimize it.

"Wise Limits" are being introduced as a way to prevent apps from draining the battery or taking up precious resources. The limits will primarily affect any apps running or executing in the background, allowing them to run, but minimizing their impact on the system's overall performance.

Google Play Protect is a new service for automatically keeping apps safe by regularly scanning them for issues. While Google already performs scanning of apps within Google Play itself, the program is more to do with educating users that various security measures are being performed, with notifications regularly appearing in the Google Play Store whenever apps are updated.

Most of the revealed features are included as part of the Android O Developer Preview 2, which is released today in a public beta. A full release of Android O is expected later this year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    still a second-rate OS
    brertechjbdragonMuntzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    WHY THE FU** IS THIS KNOCKOFF iOS news on APPLEInsider?

    get that sh** outta here.
    jdgazjbdragonMuntzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 752member
    cali said:
    WHY ... IS THIS ... on APPLEInsider?
    Because we readers track the competition.
    SpamSandwichrepressthisradarthekatwatto_cobraSoliavon b7
  • Reply 5 of 19
    lito_lupenalito_lupena Posts: 116member
    that's it? yawn.
    jbdragonMuntzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    So... catching up with iOS then?  I'd say picture-in-picture in apps can be cool, but I'm also concerned that it would be too small to be useful.  Maybe mapping would work, but I don't know about other things.  It would seem to me their would need to be the ability to alter the app interface for a smaller size.
    Muntz
  • Reply 7 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,789member
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    Better question is...why are you still using gmail? 
    jdgazjbdragonMuntzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    macxpress said:
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    Better question is...why are you still using gmail? 
    That's the BEST way for Google to spy on you!!! Scanning your e-mails for key words.
    Muntzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,840member
    jbdragon said:
    macxpress said:
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    Better question is...why are you still using gmail? 
    That's the BEST way for Google to spy on you!!! Scanning your e-mails for key words.
    I like Gmail. Reliable email providers are so difficult to find and theirs is easy to use everywhere. I can't even remember a time when I wasn't able to access my email, yet I remember plenty of times Apple, Yahoo and others have either been down or (in Yahoo's case) hacked.
    avon b7
  • Reply 10 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,789member
    jbdragon said:
    macxpress said:
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    Better question is...why are you still using gmail? 
    That's the BEST way for Google to spy on you!!! Scanning your e-mails for key words.
    I like Gmail. Reliable email providers are so difficult to find and theirs is easy to use everywhere. I can't even remember a time when I wasn't able to access my email, yet I remember plenty of times Apple, Yahoo and others have either been down or (in Yahoo's case) hacked.
    I find that iCloud is very rarely down. Apple has fixed the issues they had in the past. I wouldn't touch anything Google with a 100ft pole. My iCloud email hasn't been down in well over a year. 
    edited May 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member
    Wait, Android did not have notification badges? They've just been added now? Are you shitting me? Oh, and nice 3D Touch ripoff.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,004moderator
    slurpy said:
    Wait, Android did not have notification badges? They've just been added now? Are you shitting me? Oh, and nice 3D Touch ripoff.
    My thoughts exactly.  And tiny dots to indicate a notification?  Much prefer the visible number iOS presents.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    macxpress said:
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    Better question is...why are you still using gmail? 
    Actually I dont. My main email is fastmail because gmail pulled push.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    macxpress said:
    Yeah how about bringing gmail push back for mail app instead of the gmail app that I need a microscope to see. 
    Better question is...why are you still using gmail? 
    My main email is fastmail because gmail removed push from ios mail app.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,216member

    I always found the resolution of the app icons on Android to be pretty poor when compared to iOS.

    And when the phone is in the app drawer or whatever, where the icons are listed in a grid, it seems almost as bad as my first Nokia colour phone, which boasted 4096 colours! Almost as bad.

    When an app is selected, the animations when it opens in iOS seem so natural. In Android, it seems like they tried to make it different, just for the sake of being different. I felt there wasn't much thought given to the user experience. It is jarring.

    "Fluid Experiences" brings back memories of "Butter". Not a good sign...

  • Reply 16 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    I only watched an abridged version of the event, but I saw a lot of great advancements. This is going to be great for the 1.2% of Android users who have a device that can run 'O' in the next 18 months.
    edited May 2017 quadra 610
  • Reply 17 of 19
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    What happens when they run out of letters? The last I’d payed any attention they were still on Kit Kat, I think…
  • Reply 18 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    What happens when they run out of letters? The last I’d payed any attention they were still on Kit Kat, I think…
    I'd start the alphabet over, but with a new category, but they could just use words with no clear stepping pattern, like Apple has done with big cats and now inspirational locations in California .
    tallest skil
  • Reply 19 of 19
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Soli said:
    I’d start the alphabet over, but with a new category…
    Aardvark
    Abyssinian
    Accentor
    Addax
    Aegypius tracheliotus
    Affenpinscher

    Hey, this will work. And they can even have the thousands of versions they want, too.
    Soli
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