Friday, December 1, 2023

Eleven takeaways from Google’s Android O Q&A

Almost a dozen Google’s Android crew employees held a Reddit AMA these days and invited questions about the next important Android to replace, model 8.0. Android O is slated to be launched — at the least on Google’s hardware — within a subsequent couple of months and frequently focuses on your phone’s “vitals,” like battery existence and notifications. User-facing capabilities will include picture-in-picture aids on phones, notification badges, adaptive icons, and more. Today’s Q&A consultation became heavy on engineering and API dialogue; it became truly meant to revolve around the internal workings of Android, but the team revealed some tidbits that ordinary users could also find thrilling.

No, we still don’t have a call. Is it Oreo? Oatmeal cookie? Who knows. Android’s engineering crew stated that O’s final branding would be introduced “later this summer.” More specifically, it’s expected that Android 8. Zero will be released sometime in August. “There are so many snacks to pick from,” the team wrote.

Bluetooth audio at the Pixel must get an awful lot better in Android O. Many proprietors of the Pixel and Pixel XL — myself protected — have complained about the Bluetooth audio overall performance on Google’s smartphones. There are regular dropouts while listening via a few wireless headphones or a vehicle’s audio system. Google’s engineers appear to know that matters aren’t remarkable, as they promise a significant improvement in Android O. “Our testing indicates that BT audio reliability is appreciably higher vs. N,” wrote Tim Murray.” We desire you to notice the same type of upgrades.” Me too, Google. Me too.

But even the Pixel gained each new Android O function. Android O lets device makers, if they so pick, supply customers greater management over the color balance of their smartphone show. But, unfortunately, closing year’s Pixel and Pixel XL won’t be capable of this granular great tuning that might help ideal a display’s white stability. “Color control will now not be available on Pixel 2016,” explained Romain Guy. “It’s a device-specific function that calls for calibration of the display at the manufacturing unit floor. It is non-compulsory and can not be unfashionable-fitted on older devices.” Oh properly.


Here’s Google’s more technical reason behind why the Blobmoji is going away:

“Over the last few years, Unicode has expanded the variety of emoji extensively and created new classes of emoji. In parallel, new messaging use instances have emerged (i.e., larger emoji used as stickers). The contemporary design gadget did no longer lend itself well to helping the increasing emoji set and those new use instances, so we wanted a sizeable visual refresh.”


Yes, the notification coloration is, in reality, purported to be white. However, one of the most important early surprises of the Android O beta changed into a much lighter notification shade. Instead of sticking with the dark gray slide-down brief settings used in current years, Google inverted things and became the heritage white and icons black. Some wondered whether or not it changed into a glitch or only a brief alternate at some stage in the beta, but it sounds like the Android engineers have settled on it.

“The aim was to align the lighter notification floor with short settings. As an outcome, we did transfer the default theme of quick settings and made it more steady.” So, the common sense is that the short settings section must be comparable because notifications have a light history. This, in reality, simplest influences devices that run inventory or are close to stock Android. ADifferentAndroid OEMs (Samsung, LG, and so on) continually oose to pores and skin away and use their desired topics.

Letting you follow custom shade themes for Android isn’t as easy as it sounds. Perhaps you observed you’ve been given better flavor than Google’s designers and engineers and would love to use your color scheme on your telephone’s menus. It sounds simple and sufficient in concept. However, Alan Viverette points out a number of the challenges that stopped Google from giving customers pretty much that level of customization energy:

TL;DR Theming is not hard. Reliable and consistent theming is hard. There are technical and logistical problems with theming. The technical side is largely solved in O with RRO help (thanks, Sony!); however, we don’t have solid APIs describing what can be themed or OK methods to affirm that current applications help the theme nicely.

You may not forget a dark theme making quick appearances in previous releases — considering we already had a darkish Material theme, we didn’t just worry about APIs to explain the themeable houses, but we have not been able to convert every existing app (ex. Calendar, Photos, different bundled and middle apps — even Settings became a challenge) to assist darkish Material theme and verify that it was nicely supported.

Suppose you had a shiny purple Hello Kitty theme that’s no longer a simple brightness inversion. In that case, you run into even more complex instances of ensuring minimum comparison degrees for accessibility, selecting affordable secondary and tertiary colorings, etc.

The same goes for converting the color of the navigation bar. Why can’t you, at minimum, trade something simple, just like the color of Android’s navigation bar (where the returned, home, and recent buttons are), to your liking? Again, it’s feasible on the Galaxy S8 but not on the Pixel or different inventory Android phones.

“We are trying to balance visible attraction and burn-in protection,” wrote Google’s Selim Cinek. “We initially considered colorizing the navigation bar the same color as the popularity bar, but it did draw an excessive amount of attention to it, distracting from the content.”

“Using a gray would be the most secure manner to improve this. However, that user revels in it as an alternative questionable.” (Samsung lets you change the navbar to gray, so perhaps that’s a diffused layout burn?) “We’re constantly evaluating how we can enhance the situation, but thank you for the concept,” brought Cinek.

The Android team continues trying to determine how to do the pull software program right. As the iPad nears a primary software revamp with iOS 11, the Android crew stays on its pill-device plans. Traditionally, Android slates haven’t compared very favorably to Apple’s pill — especially regarding the sheer range of native pill apps available for each platform. Google’s Mike Celeron appears much less targeted on that and greater on identifying how the form issue should evolve next, writing the following on Reddit:

Honestly, I don’t assume pills are a space where we can meaningfully speak approximately “of the entirety.” It’s extra about figuring out what the next driver of innovation may be for this shape element. We continue to put money into productivity use instances (keyboard-driven UI, multi-window, and so on); however, in conjunction with masses of other oldsters in the industry — we are operating on what the next evolution of drugs ought to be.

There are some thrilling overlaps with capsules for Android, given the growing fulfillment of Chromebooks and the current addition of running Android apps on Chrome OS. We are working to make the Android developer stories for each shape factor (capsules, Chromebooks) identical.

But they’re paying attention to the brand new iPad Pro’s ProMotion. The buttery clean scrolling offered by Apple’s cutting-edge pill and its adaptive refresh price have stuck the attention of purchasers — and engineers at the Android group. Some agencies have already attempted similar thoughts with their personal Android hardware, cited Google’s Romain Guy; however, Google is in reality aware of the advantages, too:

Sharp has been shipping Android telephones with adaptive refresh prices since 2016 (at least in Japan). I’ve been disappointed with my 60 Hz telephones because I’ve played with one of these Sharp phones. 🙂 Adaptive refresh costs and a hundred and twenty Hz rendering are something we’ve been considering for years (it’s terrific for 24fps video playback!).

Android O won’t be a prime replacement for smartwatches. Don’t assume Android eight. Zero to noticeably change a whole lot approximately your Android Wear smartwatch. “Android O will normally be a technical upgrade for Android Wear,” wrote Hoi Lam. “For instance, Wear will get history limits, a good way to help keep the battery with O, and users can anticipate more notifications control via notification channels. In addition, we’ve introduced new gear for developers to assist in enforcing complications and constructing watch pleasant UIs.”

The Android AMA crew referred to that Android Wear 2.0 added some technical modifications that permit Google to update a few software components without requiring a complete-fledged OS update so that the enterprise can trade matters more elegantly.

Project Treble becomes the hardest part of Android O’s improvement. With version 8.0 of the working system, Google is making a foundational change to Android called Project Treble. Treble is (in theory) presupposed to assist speed up software updates and lead them to less pricey and extensive tool manufacturers.

But constructing Project Treble was possibly the most important assignment the Android crew faced while creating O. “Creating that interface becomes intense surgery on Android,” wrote Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson. “Invasive, complex engineering that took many attempts to get right – media, photographs, vicinity, a lot.

William J. McGoldrick
William J. McGoldrick
Passionate beer maven. Social media advocate. Hipster-friendly music scholar. Thinker. Garnered an industry award while merchandising cannibalism in Gainesville, FL. Have some experience importing human hair in Minneapolis, MN. Won several awards for consulting about race cars in the government sector. Crossed the country developing strategies for clip-on ties in Washington, DC. Spent a weekend implementing Virgin Mary figurines in West Palm Beach, FL. Had moderate success promoting Elvis Presley in Ocean City, NJ.

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