8.22.2017

Google Names Android 8.0

O is for Oreo


Google has just announced its name for the newest version of the Android mobile operating system. The next version of Android will be named Oreo, which was announced yesterday during the solar eclipse. 

An Android statue can now be found at 14th Street Park in Manhattan, across the street from Chelsea Market, where the Oreo was invented. This is the first time an Android statue has been erected outside of Google headquarters.

Android’s director of product management told CNET that the update was named after milk’s favorite cookie during a few nights where engineers kept grabbing snacks. Kamdar said "at our microkitchens at Google, we have Oreos all around. Our engineers just kept eating Oreos with their glasses of milk".

Android 8.0 will sport a number of new features, with a heavy focus on prolonging battery life. One of the changes is limiting what apps do when they are running in the background. By limiting what background apps can do with location data, Google hopes to significantly increase battery life. With GPS assisted apps like Pokemon Go becoming more popular, it should be a noticeable improvement.

“Android 8.0 will sport a number of new features, with a heavy focus on prolonging battery life.” 

Battery life isn’t the only change coming to Android. New emojis, a new settings menu and smart text select have a little bit for everyone. Battery settings will now differentiate battery use between while an app is active or in the background, letting users know which apps are eating up their monthly data cap. Password autofill will also start to work with other apps, which is great for anyone who likes to bank or shop on their phone.

Oreo has been in beta for several months, and should roll out by the end of the year. Pixel and Nexus users can expect the update first, and Google is working with hardware partners to have Oreo installed on new devices, and to upgrade devices already in the wild. 

Android Oreo looks promising, but fragmentation is still a concern for Google. As of now, only 13.5% of Android devices run 7.0 or above, and more than half of devices run Lollipop (5.1) or older. Besides UI features, these updates include vital security fixes in a time where mobile malware is on the rise. Google can add all of the features it wants, but only time will tell how many users experience Android’s latest and greatest.