The latest version of the Android Operating System has been released and will be on your phone shortly – as long as you have a Google Pixel, or Nexus. Mountain View has announced that Android Oreo will enter into consumer testing today, and anyone who has elected to be part of the beta test should be receiving the update shortly.
For everyone else, the wait could be months. Google has offered indicative timeframes to hardware suppliers of the end of 2017, which will probably coincide with product releases from the likes of Sony, Motorola and Kyocera. The Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung will almost certainly launch with the upgraded operating system, but everyone else will be left waiting.
It’s only likely to be diehard fans that will be disappointed; the latest upgrade is more of a series of improvements rather than a feature rich upgrade. Users will see quality improvements, security updates and user based enhancements that will improve their daily experience, but nothing revolutionary.
Oreo includes picture in picture multitasking, which has been shown to have some (if limited) practical application. It also will adjust app notifications so that users can see when applications have something new for them. The major upgrade, if you judge these things by the amount of media attention, is the improvement of emojis, which will move from the traditional blobby style to something more ascetically pleasing.
From a technical standpoint, the upgrade will offer users additional security features and what is reported to be a significant extension of the existing battery life through the more effective management of resources. While this may not be the most glamorous of features, it will no doubt be the one that receives the most accolades over the next few months, especially as the new iPhone is released and users consider whether making a move is worthwhile.
So if you own a Pixel or a Nexus, you can shortly look forward to longer battery life, the ability to look at two things on the same screen and new emojis to annoy your friends with. The rest of us will have to be satisfied with our regular 🙂 for the time being.