Google I/O is that time of the year that Google brings forward the best of their technologies and shows off their plan for the year to follow. This year, one of the highlights of the event has been the Android O Developer Preview 2. This newly introduced version of the Android OS brings forward numerous changes. Among these changes are two new features which were previously discussed: Notification dots and smart text selection.
Android O Notification Dots
With the Android O Developer Preview 2, Google officially announced the notification dots feature. This has been something that was much needed in the Android OS. Notifications in the Android OS were quite confusing for many users. In the past, the users had a hard time keeping track of unread notifications. However, Google now brings forward an official solution to the problem: Notification Dots.
Notification Dots are iOS-esque features, which put a dot next to the app icons, showcasing that there are unread notifications in the app. However, for this to be implemented successfully, app developers would need to integrate this feature in their app. However, what is rather absurd is that these dots on the apps appear only when there is an active notification in the notification shade. If you swipe it away, the dot too, disappears.
— Google (@Google) May 17, 2017
This sort of a feature has been a part of various custom launchers in the past, but Android O now integrates it in the OS itself. A welcome feature!
Smart Text Selection
Another feature that comes to life with the Android O Developer Preview 2 is that of smart text selection. This feature too, was known in the past in vague details, but Google has officially introduce it at the Google I/O 2017. This feature automatically selects the most important piece of text on the screen with a double tap. Basically, when you double tap on one word in the address, Google would automatically select the entire address (the entire set of relevant data) for you.
The smart text selection feature works on the logic that most of the time while selecting data, we select information like addresses and phone numbers. The selection automatically expands to cover relevant data, and can be manually adjusted too. Google has been experimenting a lot with machine learning over the years, and this is a really cool feature that has been introduced with the Android O Developer Preview 2.
In addition to the smart text selection and notification dots features, Google has also introduced a number of other changes to the Android O Operating System. These include the likes of:
- Double the reboot speed, introduction of a new shape of emojis
- Adjusting the intensity of night lights
- New icons for Pixel smartphones, grayscale shortcuts
Google is constantly upgrading their operating systems, and Android O seems like a step in the right direction.