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Here's What We Know from Google's Sneak Preview of Android O

App developers are seeing the first preview of Android O, the next version of Google’s operating system for mobile devices. Released yesterday, the first preview of the successor to Android Nougat features new limits to background app activity aimed at improving battery life, as well as more wide-ranging support for font displays and Wi-Fi connectivity improvements.

Google plans to release more developer preview updates over the next several months, Dave Burke, vice president of engineering, said in a blog post yesterday. More details will be revealed at the Google I/O developer conference set for May.

The company released the current version of its mobile OS, Android 7.0 Nougat, via over-the-air software updates in August. If the Android O update follows a similar schedule, users can expect to see the new version — “O’s” full name has yet to be determined — later this year.


‘Big Priority’ on Battery and Performance

Unlike the developer previews for Nougat, this time Google is making the early versions of Android O available to developers via download and flash only, Burke said. A test version for consumers via the Android Beta channel will be made available as the company gets closer to a final product, he said.

One of the changes arriving with Android O will be new background execution and location limits that will make it easier for developers to create apps that don’t overtax user devices and batteries.

“Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android O puts a big priority on improving a user’s battery life and the device’s interactive performance,” Burke said. “To make this possible, we’ve put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. Because background limits represent a significant change in Android, Google wants…

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