11 Things You Can Do In Android Oreo That You Couldn't Before

Android Oreo has at last been fully baked, and given a name, and is rolling out to those of you with a Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or Pixel C; Google says a bunch of other handsets will get Oreo by the end of the year too. So what can you look forward to? Here are the new tricks you'll be able to play around with when your update arrives.

Android Oreo is rolling out now. (Image: Google)


1) Use picture-in-picture everywhere

A Chrome video over a Twitter tab. (Image: Screenshot)

The YouTube app for Android has been able to shrink videos down into a little window for some time, but now you can do it in any app, with any other app in the background -- as long as app developers decide to support it. It works in Chrome for Android already: Just make any video full-screen, hit the Home button, and hey presto you've got a PIP window.


2) Turn on notification badges

Android users no longer need to look quite as enviously at their iPhone-toting friends, because Oreo lets apps display notification badges on their home screen icons too: From Settings tap Apps & notifications then Notifications to find the toggle switch. The badges need to be enabled by developers too, so you might not see them in all apps straight away.


3) Manage notification priorities

Are some of your notifications more important than others? Of course they are. (Image: Screenshot)

Android Oreo lets you manage notifications in more detail using notification "channels", so you can categorise the ones you want to see and the ones you don't, even within notifications from the same app -- swipe right on a notification then tap the cog icon to see the options, or dive into the settings for a particular app to see what the options are.

For example, some of your group chats in a messaging app might have permission to buzz and light up your phone, while others just display a silent alert.

Again this is something developers need to enable on their side as well, so you won't see it in every app straight away, and it's the app developers who set the different levels of categories (or channels).


4) Enjoy better security

Google Play Protect is being promoted alongside Android Oreo, though it's actually rolling out through Google Play Services to older devices too -- head to Settings, Google, then Security to see if you've got it. The service scans your incoming and installed apps for malware, sending you notifications if it spots anything suspicious or needs to take action.


5) Snooze notifications until later

Come back later. (Image: Screenshot)

Another notification upgrade: you can snooze notifications until you're ready to deal with them, rather than dismiss them once and never see them again. Swipe to the right on an alert on the lock screen or in the notification drawer, tap the clock icon, and edit the time delay (if needed). This works on all apps straight out of the box with Android Oreo.


6) Save even more battery life

Android has been getting better and better at limiting the background activity of apps when you want to save battery life, and with the launch of Oreo it goes even further, with new rules on what apps can and can't do in the background. A lot of this should happen behind the scenes, so all you will see (in theory) is your battery lasting for a longer stretch.


7) Play around with new emoji

Many Android emojis have a new look. (Image: Screenshot)

A new version of Android usually means a bunch of new emojis, and Oreo is no different -- in fact, Google has redesigned the entire emoji icon set this time around, so the blobs are out and more regular faces are in. New emojis include a wizard, a dinosaur, a fairy, and an exploding head for when you hear how long your Oreo update is delayed for.


8) Select text more easily

Android Oreo can select text on screen with a bit more intelligence -- if you tap and hold on a recognisable bit of text (like a phone number), then Android can automatically highlight the whole lot for you. You also get context-sensitive shortcuts appearing in the bar above, so if you've picked out an address, for example, one of the links leads to Google Maps.


9) Use new shortcuts in the camera

Just double-tap to zoom. (Image: Screenshot)

The camera app bundled with Oreo has a couple of minor tweaks that might make a major difference to your photo and video taking in the future. First, you can double-tap on the screen to zoom in 50 per cent (and double-tap again to zoom out); second, you can switch between photo and video modes by tapping on the icons rather than awkwardly swiping, finally.


10) Sync all your data across all your devices

Chrome has synced data across devices for a while now, but Android Oreo is expanding that with a new Autofill feature. With your permission, it allows the syncing of app logins, credit card details, addresses and other information between devices and inside apps (like your mobile browser) -- LastPass is one of the first apps to support the new feature.


11) Play around with an octopus

Eight arms for Android 8.0. (Image: Screenshot)

No Android version would be complete without an Easter egg, though admittedly the one in Android Oreo isn't the most impressive we've ever seen. From Settings, tap System then About phone, then tap Android version until you see the big Android O. Then, tap the O repeatedly before long-pressing it to get an octopus that... just kind of floats around a bit.

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Comments

    Still don't think it's feature complete though.

    When I twisted my phone, it feel to pieces.

    When I tried to lick said phone, it gave me one nasty shock.

    And when I finally dunked it, my milk turned yellow and gave a foal odour.

    Jokes aside, I hope it comes to my LG V20. If not, the current version is still great.

      ...gave a foal odour.Did it make you a little hoarse?

    Most of that stuff you can already do on older android phones, especially notification badges and notification dismissal/customisation...
    On my LGv20 and LG G4 anyway, They don't have much of a skin on their version of Android.

      Per-app notification priority is older, but the more granular priority for different types of notifications within apps plus notification snoozing is new in Oreo.

    OMG, it's a Terrance and Phillip octopus! So many fingers to pull!

    I got an update to my S8+ yesterday. Was so stoked thinking maybe I was finally getting 7.11 or *gasp* maybe 8. Nope, it's still 7.0 :(

    Maybe it's time to buy another HTC, at least they update regularly.

    The battery meter finally has an indicator just like the Samsung phones. Finally. That's means that I can get rid of another app. Bout time Google.

      Yeah, but they made the battery indicator MUCH worse in other ways. First, you can no longer tap on the battery icon from the pull down menu to get to the battery settings. And second, in the battery settings, it no longer tells you WHICH apps are using what percent of your battery since the last charge. Now it lumps them all together into Apps. To find out which ones, you literally have to go to each app individually in the settings. Just another Google change for the worse.

    The octopus may not be as complex as previous Easter eggs but it showcases an important new behind-the-scenes feature - a 2D physics engine. This makes animation easier for developers so they don't have to render every possible movement/interaction.

    The most important features of this build won't be seen by most users, e.g. Treble.

    HEre are some more...Take several extra steps to get to your videos if you aren't stupid enough to try to upload hundreds of MB via cell data or even WiFi and instead connect directly to your computer. Becuase now, instead of videos being in the same folder as the images as it used to be, tey decided to stick them in a folder within another folder in that images folder. So now, rather than it being right on top if you sort by date, you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom (since it also won't allow you to use DATE as a column forcing you to use DATE CREATED or whatever so sorting sends all folders to the bottom) then click on a stupidly named camera_sessions folder, and hten click on ANTOEHR folder called google just to get your videos.
    Oh and one more...with Oreo, you get to not know if you have any new e-mail unless you accept their idiotic Auto-Sync for EVERYTHING! Yup...I don't sync my e-mail because my phone is my phone..not my computer. And there are MANY reason why I might want to delete e-mail from my phone with 10 GB of storage free but NOT my actual e-mail account. Before Oreo, it still worked fine. After Oreo? Nothing. Even though I have Sync turned on for the e-mail account that I want to get notifications for, it doesn't. And Several posts in Google forums have been totally ignored.

    Oh..but I get new emojis! Thank god for that! Because I am 10 years old! And immature for my age! So I totally use emojis!

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