Android O could bring big changes to notifications

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Google has taken the wraps off Android O for the first time.

There's even a tasty hint as to what its candy codename will be.

Google's vice president of engineering Dave Burke detailed some of the changes that developers and consumers can expect from the Android O release, which probably won't be available to consumers until next fall. In other words, don't put this version on a phone you rely on for everyday use.

Select devices made by Google are actually able to run Android O today, but we agree with the company's recommendation that only developers give the Developer Preview a try. This is basically a limit that Google is placing on what apps can do in the background, and the company says it covers three areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates.

Android-powered devices may also receive new app icon badges for active notifications with the upcoming update. A source previously told the publication that the new notification system is being designed for the rumored Andromeda OS so there is speculation that it could be merged with Android O. Google is introducing the concept of notification channels, which can group notifications into user-defined categories. This feature creates a pop-up of the current video and places it at any corner of the screen, much like what YouTube is doing now. Google's already revealed that this new version will include Autofill APIs, which allow users to select autofill apps, "similar to the way they select a keyboard app".

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The platform also adds support for autofill, which should minimize the need to enter and re-enter credentials like usernames, passwords and addresses.

If you have one of the aforementioned compatible devices, you can use the images and instructions found here to flash your device. If you were talking on Messages about a new restaurant for example, and then you went over to look for where the place was located, this is when Copy Less would come in handy. However, there's no official confirmation on Android Oreo just yet. Google says there will be four Developer Previews, with a final release expected this fall.

It's unclear at this point when Android 8.0 will be unveiled or released.

"Over the course of the next several months, we'll be releasing updated developer previews, and we'll be doing a deep dive on all things Android at Google I/O in May", Google wrote in a blog post.