Tl; dr: Android 8.0 Oreo has been ready since last night and is available for download for selected devices. ComputerBase has looked at the new mobile operating system of Google on a pixel XL and presents the most important changes in the test. This time, there are many changes for Android, especially under the hood.
Android 8.0 is called Oreo
Google has unveiled the development of Android 8.0 and unveiled after months of waiting for what the “O” of the development versions stands: Oreo – a biscuit of the US company Nabisco and thus as expected another dessert. At the moment, Android 8.0 can only be installed on Google’s few pixel and Nexus devices. Until other smartphone manufacturers follow suit, users will have to be patient for a while as usual.
As Google announced on its blog to the release of Android Oreo, among other things, Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony by the end of the year 8.0, with no devices being named, or new devices with the current release.
These Google devices get the update
According to the current state, the pixel and pixel XL (test), Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X as well as the Nexus Player are supported as at the time of the Android-O-Betaprogramm. In this round of the update, the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 are covered by the raster, which had been considered for Android 7.0. According to Google’s support site, there has been no guarantee for the availability of Android updates for the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 since last October. This has been confirmed with the exclusion for the update on Android 8.0 yesterday evening. Security updates are to be offered until at least October this year – so are also shortly before the end. Support for pixel and pixel updates will expire in October 2018, while security updates are planned by Google until October 2019.
Installing Android 8.0
If you want to install Android 8.0 without data loss, and especially easy to install, it is best to wait for distribution as a so-called over-the-air update (OTA). Google has started on yesterday evening, but depending on the region, it may take several days until all Nexus and pixels have been updated with the update. With a trick, the OTA update can also be installed immediately. If you register for the Android Betaprogramm, the final update is offered immediately.
For an impatient and above all savvy user, Google also offers the installation via a Factory Image. For this to work, the Android Debug Bridge must first be installed via the Android SDK and the bootloader of the device must be unlocked. When the latter happens for the first time, this results in a data loss. Therefore, installation over a factory image should not be the first choice for inexperienced users.
Notifications within the Android operating system have been one of the biggest strengths of Google for years. It has always been one of the most important features within Android, which receives changes and improvements every year. Also with Android 8.0, there are again a series of adjustments to the notification system that developers and users can use to optimize the daily workflow.
Android 8.0 introduces so-called Notification Channels, which are a system for categorizing notifications. If the developer has adapted an app correctly to the requirements of Android 8.0, the user in the new operating system has numerous means for sorting notifications to choose from. Once assigned notifications behave then also in the future so. Users can control not only the categories but also the behavior of notifications regarding importance, ringtone, status LED, vibration, lockscreen hint, override of non-disturbing status, or whether they should be displayed at all. However, if an app has not yet been adapted to Android 8.0, it still behaves like Android 7.0.
Notification Badges or Notification Dots, on the other hand, seem like a feature adopted by iOS. Because even under Android, it is now possible to signal on the icon of an app that there is a notification for this. This works even if the affected app is in a folder. In this case, the label appears directly in the folder. Long press of the app icon opens a small speech bubble in which the notification is displayed. For each further notification of the same app there is a counter in the same menu, but for a better overview only one notification is displayed.
For users and developers, however, this was by no means all the changes Google had made to the system for notifications. New is a snoozing feature, with which notifications are hidden but not removed. For developers, there are timeouts with a function that automatically removes notifications after a defined time. Accordingly, Android internally can now also distinguish between whether a notification has been rejected by the system or the user. Developers also have the option to add a background color to their notifications. In addition, notifications can show more of their content as soon as they are collapsed.
On the next page: design changes