Google today announced the next-generation version
of its Android operating system, which is named Oreo.
Android Oreo includes dozens of new features
, ranging from notification improvements to picture-in-picture support to new emoji.
The update introduces an iOS-like feature called Notification Dots (aka app badges), designed to make it easier to see which apps have new content to display. A long tap on an app icon now displays information like the last notification received and app widgets, much like a 3D Touch does on iOS.
Picture-in-picture support allows users to watch video content while using other apps, while a new autofill feature remembers login information to allow for quicker username and password entry.
Support for new Unicode 10 emoji
is included, introducing emoji like exploding head, vampire, zombie, hedgehog, giraffe, fortune cookie, and more. Existing Android emojis have also been redesigned to do away with the iconic Android emoji blobs.
Instant Apps, designed to allow developers to create apps that can run instantly, are now enabled by default, and Google has made improvements to the overall speed of the operating system for faster launch times along as well as introduced security improvements.
A full rundown on the new Android Oreo features is available on Google's site for those interested
. The update is available today through Google's Android Open Source Project, with Google planning to roll it out to Pixel and Nexus devices in the near future as soon as carrier testing is complete.
Though Pixel and Nexus owners can expect to get access to Android Oreo in the near future, owners of other Android-based smartphones will need to wait much longer, if they get the update at all. The previous version of Android, Android Nougat, is still only installed on 13.5 percent
of devices despite the fact that it was released a year ago.
The majority of Android devices continue to run Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.