Today at 2:40 p.m. Eastern, the Android team will be hosting a live web event to announce the public availability of Android O. The timing of the event coinsides with the solar eclipse that is happening and, you guessed it, will be at its height at 2:40 p.m. in New York.
The stream of the event will be available on YouTube and there will be a live video stream with the launch stream from NASA showing the eclipse. You can watch the stream below:
Yeah, so my opinion is go outside and see the eclipse (with proper eye protection of course). That’s a rare event and while I’m a big fan of the ‘Droid, I think the timing of this is silly at best and marketing gone array at worst. My .02. And to top it off, there isn’t really anything outside of the official name that we don’t already know about Android O anyway at this point.
Ah yes, a fresh new Easter Egg! If you have Developer Preview 4 of Android O on your device, you have a new Easter Egg to find in the Settings. For the first three DPs there was a cat emoji but that is now replaced with an octopus that you can interact with on your phone.
For those who don’t know how to get to it, it is easy. In Settings go to System>About Phone then tap on the Android Version 3-4 time really fast. This will bring up an Android O logo. Now tap on that 5 times real fast then hold it. It will disappear and bada-bing, you have the octopus floating on your screen.
The final beta build of Android O has been released today by the Android team to those in the Android Beta Program. Build OPP4.170623.014 is rolling out to devices now with it having the final API levels (API level 26) along with finishing touches on the platform overall.
In a post on the Android Developer blog, Vice President of Engineering David Burke indicated that this is being considered by Google as a Release Candidate. That means that it is both very stable and very little, barring a major bug being found, will stop it from being released in short order.
Developer Preview 4 is a release candidate build of Android O that you can use to complete your development and testing in time for the upcoming official release. It includes the final system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and optimizations, and the final APIs (API level 26)
To be clear, the new APIs were introduced in Developer Preview 3 so this confirms that they are indeed final.
While the marketing name of Android O is still not known, we do at least know the version number. In Developer Preview 3, which was released yesterday, the version number is clearly listed as 8.0.0 in the System>About page. While there wasn’t a huge amount of mystery around this, it does finalize it.
The general assumption was that O would be v8 but the v4 train of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat) created the confusion. All of these were v4 but were 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3. Since then, there has always been a lingering thought that the next major version of Android could remain in the Nougat v7 lineup.
The third Developer Preview of Android O has been released by Google and for those who have registered devices in the Android Beta Program, you should start seeing the update hit your devices. DP3 arrived earlier than expected as Google had slated this for late June. The early June release signals that the company is overall pretty pleased with where it stands in its development and also gives developers more time to prepare their apps.
A key element of the DP3 release is the finalized APIs for developers. That means they can get started on updating or adding functionality to their apps based on these APIs, knowing they are not going to change between now and the final release. That means you can expect over the next few months to see apps start noting updates in the Play Store with support for Android O prior to the release.
The question, of course, is when? OnePlus has been catching a lot of grief lately because of previous commitments to get Android Nougat out for the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus X. Those updates simply haven’t happened and at this point, could well never happen. So while the company’s CEO has said it will be coming, there are probably more than a few OnePlus 3 & 3T owners that are hesitant to believe it.
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.
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.