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Android Oreo: five things you need to know

android oreo super hero

Google has finally confirmed the official release of Android Oreo.

Released as a trial edition under the work-in-progress title of Android O earlier this summer, the updated platform brings a raft of changes aimed at making Android phones smarter and easier to use.

Want the inside line? Read on and we’ll tell you five things you need to know about Google's freshly baked software.

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It's snappier

android oreo speedboost

Speed is perhaps the first thing users installing Android Oreo will notice.

Google reckons that it’s managed to accelerate boot-up times for devices with Android Oreo by making a series of tweaks.

It also claims that phones using the OS will start twice as fast as the Google Pixel, a phone that wasn’t exactly known for running sluggishly.

The good news is that this should mean older handsets work faster for longer.

It's safer

Android Oreo security

Google has had its fair share of issues with bugs and malware. That’s why it’s bringing Google Play Protect to Android Oreo.

This new feature scans 50 billion apps every day, removing harmful software that could lead to users losing their personal details or rendering their phone unusable.

Google has also updated its Find My Device feature, letting users track, lock and wipe their phone if it’s lost or stolen.

It'll boost your battery

Samsung Galaxy S7 battery

Battery life remains a major bug bear for Android users, who find their phones run out of juice just hours of being fully charged.

With Android Oreo, Google has fixed how apps work when they're running in the background, preventing those that have been left open from drawing too much power.

It says that this means power should last longer no matter what device you install Android Oreo with.

Having made such claims about Android updates in the past, this is something that will require plenty of independent testing to verify.

It's on the Pixel from the get-go. And other Android phones next year

Google pixel resting front

At the moment, only Google–branded devices will be able to run Android Oreo. That means 2016’s Pixel and Pixel XL and 2015’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, and the Pixel C and Nexus Player will play nice.

However, phones from the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG are unlikely to be updated to Android Oreo until well into 2018.

If you want the very latest Google software, then you’ll need the latest Google hardware too.

You can make VOIP calls while going about your business

Android Oreo picture in picture

The new 'picture-in-picture' mode lets you make VOIP calls at the same as you're watching videos or using apps that support the feature.

Until now this has been reserved for Android TV devices.

Apps that will support picture-in-picture video from launch include Chrome, YouTube and VLC.

To enable it, you'll need to start up the video/app in full-screen mode and hit the home button. At which point the video window shrinks, but continues to play.

If you like, you can then move the video window or pause the clip.

What's new with Android? Get up to speed at our Android news page.

Category: Features
Tagged: android, google
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