Category: Android O

Reality Check – Don’t Expect Project Treble on Your Android O Upgraded Phone

Friday for the Android faithful was a fun day.  Ahead of Google I/O, which starts this week, the company announced Project Treble, a modularized change to Android that will make it far easier for Google themselves to upgrade the core OS while leaving the manufactures and carriers to upgrade their bits on your phone.  It has a huge amount of promise and would go a long way in sorting out one of Android’s biggest problems – timely updates.

Timely updates, particularly security updates, has always been a challenge.  Manufactures are slow (and don’t really have an incentive to keep things upgraded) and carriers just add to the pain. It is a key reason I have chosen Google Nexus and Pixel products as my main drivers.  I know I will get timely updates.   Treble would leave the base level OS upgrades to Google who could upgrade your devices directly for things like security patches without having to involve the manufactures or carriers.

Unfortunately, I have to rain on everyone’s parade a bit.  Treble is coming for Android O and this week at I/O we are likely going to hear a lot more about it.  But don’t expect it to hit your current phone.  Even if you have a Google Pixel, don’t expect it.  Why?  Two Words:  System Partition.

Download The Android O Default Wallpaper

As you probably know by now, earlier today the Android team released the first Developer Preview of Android O.  There are a lot of changes that are coming in this new version of Android which will hit compatible devices later this year.  However, as with every new major build, Google has also produced a new default wallpaper and the one for O is pretty snazzy.  With deep blue tones, the wallpaper is a night shot of Earth.  You can see the curvature of the planet along with what appear to be glowing mountain tops.  Its a bit hard to tell for sure but regardless, it is beautiful.

I’ve added the new wallpaper to the wallpaper page here on the site and also have added it to this post after the break.  It measures 2880 x 2560 so this will work well on any phone and could serve as a wallpaper for your laptop or Chromebook.

Android O to be Released in Q3 of 2017

With the release of the first Developer Preview of Android O, the question most people want to know the answer for is when it will be available for the masses?  According to Google, that will be Q3 of 2017.  Google, much like they did with Android Nougat, is being very transparent about their timelines and have published it in the O Program Overview.  Basically it will breakdown like this:

  • Preview 1 which is the initial release and considered alpha (do not install it on your daily driver!)
  • Preview 2 will be an incremental update and the first beta of Android O
  • Preview 3 will bring us the final APIs and the official SDK.  At this point, developers will be able to published their Android O compatible apps
  • Preview 4 will be the near-final image for final testing
  • Final Release will be the AOSP build and ecosystem release.  This is when the public will get it and OEMs will get it to start prepping their devices images.

This pattern follows much of what Google did with Android Nougat so there aren’t a lot of surprises here to be found.

Android O Developer Preview Released

A bit unexpected, Google has announced the Developer Preview of the next generation of Android, Android O.  The program is designed for those who want to check out what is coming in the next version as well as developers who want to start preparing their apps for the build.  It is not intended for general consumption and should not be considered a beta!  At this point, Android O is very much an alpha or even pre-alpha build and I highly recommend non-developer readers not to install it on their daily devices.  To give you an idea of just how alpha this build is, it isn’t even in the Android Beta program yet.  That’s still focused on Android Nougat 7.1.2.

On the preview page, Google highlights five key areas in which O will be focused:  Notification channels, picture-in-picture viewing, autofill, adaptive icons and multi-display support.  All of these are aimed at making the platform more flexible and considering that Android now runs on Chrome OS, the ability to do some of these things will become ever increasing in importance.