Android 'O' Is Officially Called Oreo, But When Will Your Phone Get It?

After being made available to developers back in March, and then more broadly through a public beta in May, the eighth major release of the Android operating system finally arrives today with Google revealing that the mysterious "O" actually stands for Oreo: A sandwich cookie suffering from a terrible identity crisis over the past few years.

Way back in 2009, Google dubbed Android 1.5 with the delicious codename Cupcake, and the company has maintained that snack-related naming scheme ever since. It mostly remained generic until 2013 when Android KitKat was revealed, and Google has since parlayed the reveal into an annual mystery to help drum up press for its mobile OS.

Still: YouTube

The Oreo name might be the most interesting feature of Android 8.0 we're learning about today, but there are some notable updates that will make it worth updating if and when it eventually makes it way to your devices. Android Oreo brings improvements to the mobile operating system's notifications, including the addition of tiny dots appearing on each app icon indicating when they want your attention, and a cleaner notifications channel for sorting through all the alerts you get. Android's Settings app has also been completely overhauled so that the vast myriad of options isn't as overwhelming to new users, but also easier for experienced Android users to find what they're looking for.

Other highlights include picture-in-picture functionality with resizable windows, adaptive icons that look better across various devices, battery life improvements that limit what apps can do in the background, the ability to share files over Wi-Fi without an internet connection, and support for Android Instant apps. Many of the updates won't be immediately obvious to users who've upgraded, at least until they restart their devices, as Android Oreo will boot up almost twice as quickly depending on your hardware.

The final version of Android Oreo will be made available to developers today, but the rest of us will have to wait as the rollout is usually delayed by individual carriers adding their own customisations and tweaks to the software -- and that's assuming your smartphone is eligible and able to run Android 8.0. If you're using one of Google's own mobile devices, such as the Pixel or Nexus, that run the cleanest and most basic version of Android, you'll be among the first to get Oreo.

But if your smartphone has its own carrier-themed skin or front-end, it could be several months before you're able to get your hands on all the new features. Android Nougat, the last major version of the OS which came out a year ago, is only installed on about 14 per cent of Android phones on the market. So while we finally know what the "O" stands for, the wait for the new OS isn't over yet.

[Android]

WATCH MORE: Tech News


Comments

    Yay for having a Pixel. Oh wait, Telstra can block it. Apparently there is a special OTA for Telstra customers this time.

      You can get the factory images from the android dev portal right now - it does mean wiping your device and using some less than user friendly command line tools.

      Flashed it on my Nexus 6P this morning

        There is a special ROM for telstra's network. Apparently it's special out of every network everywhere else in the world and needed a tweak or something. Any idea which one I need?

          I am not aware of Telstra needing a special rom - usually when a network needs a special rom they put it up on the portal - for instance Verizon in the US does need a special rom, so it's there.

          Your other option is to join the Android beta testers, the current beta branch is the final stable (https://www.google.com/android/beta?u=0)

      I have Telstra Pixel and have the update now. I did do the beta for it though so that might be a way around it. (If you want it via OTA)

        Yeah, I just did that too. Did not check if I got the Telstra variant or not, it still works. Pretty sure I bypassed the last time they had a special version.
        And I also bypassed the time they blocked it because their network was not ready....

    Would Oreo ask them to change it due to Trademark and copyrighting issues?

      Just like KitKat, this was a deal made between Android and Oreo. Google hasn't just ripped off their trademark, they're using it with permission.

      More like Oreo paid them for the promotion; just like KitKat did for the K version.

    Hey, i just got 7.1. at least i think it's a .1. Got 7 a few months ago but just recently had another big download that seemed to fix a few things.

    I beta-programmed it a while back on my Nexus 6P. Official versioned itself this morning...

      Hi! Did it take you straight from beta to official version? I have beta but haven't gotten an ota for official version yet. Just curious how that works. Thanks!

        I manually checked for an update, and there wasn't one, but then I rebooted the phone and it sent me a 35MB update, which put me on the official version

    *sigh* Samsung S8+ still stuck on 7.0. Been waiting for 7.1, maybe they'll just skip it and go straight to 8...

    I am running build number OPP4.170623.014 on my Project Fi Nexus 6P which is a beta version of O. Notification dots, and some of the other features of O are not working on my device. This is my first time in the beta, so I am not sure how updates flow. When the final public build is released, will I get an ota update to that version? Or is the final public version out there already? Thanks!

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