Google took the wraps off the latest version of its Android platform – Android 8.0 Oreo – with a raft of vendors set to offer compatible devices by the end of this year.
New features include picture-in-picture, enabling users to see two apps at once, and notification dots, allowing users to see what is happening in important apps and take quick action.
It also debuts a set of redesigned emojis.
Google claims Android Oreo is more secure, with Google Play Protect built in, security status “front and centre” in settings, and tighter app install controls.
The platform also offers a number of features designed to improve performance, including faster boot speed, autofill for logins (if authorised) and support for Android Instant Apps, which “means you can teleport directly into new apps, no installation needed”.
In addition Oreo features controls to minimise unintentional overuse of the battery by apps running in the background.
One of the traditional bugbears with Android is the slow pace at which new versions of the platform reach existing devices – if at all. Earlier this year the software giant announced plans to re-architect Android to make it easier to update existing devices.
A build for Google’s Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P have entered carrier testing, and will be rolled-out in phases “soon”, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player (which do not require carrier tests).
Google said Essential, General Mobile, HMD (Nokia), Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are “scheduled to launch or upgrade devices” to Android 8.0 Oreo by the year-end.