Android O for Moto G4 Release Date and Features
Motorola Moto G4 smart phone released with inbuilt Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later Motorola updated it to Android 7.0 Nougat. Moto G4 got the Android 7.0 update in January 2017 after few soak tests. Android O will be next major android update for Moto G4 devices. Motorola already announced at the launch event of Moto G4 that Moto G4 and G4 Plus will receive both Android N and O updates. After the Android 7.1.2 update, the Search Giant is goint to release Android O which is the next big update for Android Operating system. Android 8.0 might be the version number for Android O.
Recently Google released the First developer preview of Android O. According to the timeline released by Google, Second, Third and Fourth previews of Android O will be released in May, June and July months respectively. The Final build of Android O will be released by Google in Q3, 2017.
Android O is coming with many exciting features like new Notificiation channels, Adaptive icons, Picture in Picture and so on. With new Notification channels feature, users can set customizable channels for Notifications. Notifications can also be snoozed in Android O and they reappear after certain time.
Adaptive icons feature is an elegant feature the next iteration of Android. With this feature, icons will appear differntly in different OEM devices.
Picture in Picture
PiP (Picture in Picture) is an impressive feature of Android O operating system. Actually, Google introduced the PiP feature with Android 7.0 Nougat. But Picture in Picture was released only for Android TVs with Android Nougat. Now, with Android O, this elegant feature arrives for Android smart phones too.
Android O Picture in Picture feature permits users to watch videos on a corner of the screen besides using another app on the remaining part of screen. So users can easily play Youtube videos besides working with other apps with the PiP feature of Android O.
Still the Android O is in Preview stage, so now it is hard to find any app with Picture in Picture support. Some developers at XDA are currently working to enable PiP mode with any app in Android O.
Android O developer preview brings support for multiple displays. According to the official Android developers website, if a device and an app support multiple screens, then Android O can display the app activity in multiple displays. The app decides which display the activity should appear. User can also move the app activity from one display to another display. When user moved the activity of the app from one screen to another screen the system will automatically resizes the app activity, according to the new screen dimensions.
But when the app is showing different activities in different screens, only one activity will be in the resumed state. Other activities of the app will be in the paused states but not stopped.
In every iteration of Android, Google tries something new to improve Battery life. In the upcoming Android O upgrade, the Search Giant introduced Background limits for apps to save some battery juice. Background limits restrict background services of apps to save memory bandwidth and also Battery.
The Background execution limits of Android O affect the apps which are idle in background. Android O limits background apps through Background Service limitations and Broadcast limitations. But they don’t limit apps with visible activity, foreground services etc. New background limits feature of Android O works smartly to differentiate between foreground and background apps and only limits background apps.
But this feature only works on the apps which target Android O API level 25. So app developers have to refine their apps to target Android O to support the Background limits feature.
New Settings Menu
Previously with Android Nougat, Google partially revamped the Settings menu. Now with Android O, the Search giant completely revamped the Settings menu. The Settings Menu of Android O organized into different Categories. So the menu becomes compact and also appears with new design.
The background of the Settings menu changed to Light grey. The Dark or blue headers with White header text are not present in the Android O menu. Header text appears in Black color on the Grey background.
The new categories of Settings arranged nicely so that we can find any setting option easily. Google removed the slide-out navigation menu in the Android O update. Probably it is due to the new compact Settings menu. As this is still the first preview version of Android O, many refinements may take place before the final release.
New Bluetooth Audio codecs
The Android O upgrade contains new Bluetooth audio codecs like LDAC, aptx etc. The options for bluetooth audio codecs are located in the Developer options. Users can access them by going into Settings>Developer Options.
The Bluetooth Audio codecs available in Android O are LDAC, SBC, AAC, aptx and aptx HD. LDAC is codec from Sony which can transfer data at 990 kbps. aptx and aptx HD are high quality streaming protocols from Qualcomm. aptx HD supports 24-bit music quality over bluetooth. So these advanced codecs play high quality music over compatible bluetooth headsets or headphones.
Navigation Bar Customization
Android O brings many customizations and Navigation bar customization is one of them. This option is found in the System UI Tuner. Through this feature users can customize their navigation bar icons. Some OEMs already offering this feature. Now this customization comes to stock Android and AOSP with Android O.
Users can move their navigation bar icons to left or right or make it compact with this customization. We can also edit, add and remove the right and left area software buttons of Navigation bar. This feature will be much refined in the upcoming updates.
Wi-Fi aware is a small feature of Android O but much useful once app developers unlock its full potential. Neighborhood Aware Networking is added to Wi-Fi in the upcoming iteration of Android to communicate with nearby devices through Wi-Fi. This feature doesn’t even require an access point to find nearby devices.
So two nearby devices with Wi-Fi aware feature can find each other without requiring any additional apps or configuration. It also allows high speed data transfer between two nearby devices. As Wi-Fi Aware feature is a low-power connection mode, it drains battery lightly. Google indicates that hardware support also required for Wi-Fi aware to function. So in coming days, the list of supported devices will be revealed.
Revamped Package Installer Progress Bar
Previously in Android Nougat, Google reduced app installing times much. In Android O, Google also redesigned the progress bar of Package installer. Till Android Nougat, package installer showed the indefinite progress bar while installing apps. In Android O, refined Progress bar shows actual progress of installing. So user can see the actual progress of installs on screen. A Cancel button is also present at the bottom right of installing screen. So users can also cancel installation at any time before it gets completed.
Motorola which is currently owned by Lenovo may start the soak test of Android O for Moto G4 in November 2017. The finalized version of Android O may reach Moto G4 in December 2017 only in some regions. In the remaining regions, Moto G4 might get the update in January 2018. More details about the release of Android O for Moto G4 devices will be revealed in coming months.
Update on 27/01/2017
Google revealed that Google I/O , the company’s developer conference will take place from May 17th to 19th at Shoreline Amphitheator. This is the event in which the tech giant is going to unveil Android O. So the new features of Android O will be revealed in Google’s I/O.
Update on 6/2/2017 :
According to Android Police, Google informed to its GMS partners through E-Mail that Google Now Launcher will be discontinued shortly. So in a few days Google Now Launcher will be disappeared from Playstore. But the Search giant hasn’t revealed any future plans. Recent pixel devices are preloaded with new Pixel lanucher with circular icons. So some rumours are flying that Pixel launcher may become the next default launcher from Google. So in future Pixel devices we may see Pixel launcher only. The South Korian tech giants Samsung uses Touchwiz Launcher and LG uses LG Home launcher in their devices. Some tech giants like Motorola which use stock android may use Pixel launcher in place of Google Now Launcher in their future devices. More details about the next default launcher from Google will be revealed soon.
Update on 22/3/2017 :
Before the release of Android 7.1.2 in few weeks, the Search Giant announced the first Developer preview of Android O. Google’s Dave Burke announced the Android O Developer Preview in the Official blog. According to Burke, this is only an initial version of the next major Android upgrade. Many stabilization and performance improvements take place in coming days. Burke also said that new developer previews of Android O will be released in coming days with improvements. So interested tech enthusiasts can download the Android O developer preview image from the official blog.
The Android O is coming with many exciting and elegant features. Some of the features mentioned in the official blog are : new background limits, notification channels, Autofill APIs, Picture in Picture, Font resources in XML, Adaptive icons, improved Connectivity. Elaborated details of the Android O update will be revealed soon.