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Eleven takeaways from Google’s Android O Q&A

Almost dozen personnel from Google’s Android team held a Reddit AMA today and invited questions on the subsequent important Android replacement, model 8.0. Android O is slated to be released — at least on Google’s very own hardware — in a subsequent couple of months and focuses mostly on your telephone’s “vitals” like battery lifestyles and notifications.

User-going through functions will include a photo-in-photograph guide on phones, notification badges, adaptive icons, and greater. Today’s Q&A session was heavy on engineering and API dialogue; it turned into genuinely meant to revolve around the internal workings of Android. However, the team found out a few tidbits that everyday customers may additionally discover thrilling.

No, we nevertheless don’t have a call.

Is it Oreo? Oatmeal cookie? Who knows. Android’s engineering team stated that O’s very last branding might be introduced “later this summertime.” More mainly, it’s anticipated that Android 8.0 could be released someday in August. “There are so many snacks to choose from,” the group wrote.


Bluetooth audio at the Pixel must get a great deal better in Android O.

Many proprietors of the Pixel and Pixel XL — myself included — have complained approximately about the overall Bluetooth audio performance on Google’s smartphones. There are frequent dropouts when listening through some wi-fi headphones or a car’s audio gadget.

Google’s engineers seem to be conscious that matters aren’t extraordinary, as they promise a sizeable development in Android O. “Our checking out suggests that BT audio reliability is significantly higher vs. N,” wrote Tim Murray. ”We hope you notice the identical kind of enhancements.” Me too, Google. Me too.

But even the Pixel received’t get every new Android O feature.

Android O shall we devise makers, if they are so select, supply clients extra control over the color stability of their phone’s show. Unfortunately, closing 12 months’ Pixel and Pixel XL received’t be able to this granular first-rate-tuning that could help perfect a screen’s white stability. “Color management will not be to be had on Pixel 2016,” explained Romain Guy. “It’s a tool-unique characteristic that calls for calibration of the display at the manufacturing facility ground. It’s thus non-obligatory and can’t absolutely be retro-outfitted on older devices.” Oh nicely.

Here’s Google’s extra technical explanation for why the Blobmoji is going away:

“Over a previous couple of years, Unicode has elevated the range of emoji considerably and created new categories of emoji. In parallel new messaging use instances have emerged (i.e., larger emoji used as stickers). The present-day design machine did no longer lend itself properly to helping the expanding emoji set and these new use instances, so we wished a large visible refresh.”

One of the largest early surprises of the Android O beta turned into a much lighter notification color. Instead of sticking with the dark grey slide-down short settings vicinity used in current years, Google essentially inverted things and grew to become the heritage white and icons black. Some wondered whether it changed into a glitch or just a temporary alternate in the beta course, but it sounds just like the Android engineers have settled on it.

“The average goal was to align the lighter notification surface with short settings. As an outcome, we did transfer the default theme of brief settings and made it more steady.” So the common sense is that considering notifications have a light heritage, the quick settings segment should be comparable. This simply most effective impacts gadgets that run stock or close to stock Android. As constantly, other Android OEMs (Samsung, LG, and many others.) are free to pores and skin away and use their own desired topics.

Letting you apply custom shade themes to Android isn’t as clean as it sounds.

Perhaps you think you’ve got better flavor than Google’s designers and engineers and would really like to apply your very own color scheme on your telephone’s menus. It sounds simple enough in the idea. However, Alan Viverette points out a number of the demanding situations that’ve stopped Google from giving users quite that stage of customization power:

TL;DR Theming isn’t always difficult. Reliable and constant theming are difficult.

There are technical and logistical troubles with theming. The technical facet is basically solved in O with RRO support (thank you, Sony!); however, we nonetheless don’t have stable APIs for describing what can be themed or adequate approaches to verify that current programs well help to the theme.

You might recall a darkish subject making brief appearances in preceding releases — because we already had a darkish Material theme, we didn’t have to fear approximately APIs to explain the themeable homes; however, we had been unable to transform each current app (ex. Calendar, Photos, other bundled and center apps — even Settings become a mission) to assist darkish Material subject matter and verify that it becomes properly supported.


If you had, say, a bright red Hello Kitty topic that’s no longer a simple brightness inversion, you run into even greater complicated instances of making sure minimum contrast degrees for accessibility, choosing reasonable secondary and tertiary hues, etc.

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