Oreo features hidden
Automatic dark and light theme
. In previous versions of Android, the cheese rested on the bottom bun in an affront to hamburger lovers everywhere. In Android 8.1, order has been restored, and the emoji has been redesigned to put the cheese on top of the burger.
Google’s ambient display in Android 8.0 introduced a minimal look that might be too minimal for some users. The new ambient display in 8.1 now includes the date above any prior notification icons, and an alarm, if one is set, to match the one that shipped with the Pixel 2.
Redesigned power menu
When you press the power button to shut down or restart your device in Android 8.1, the options will no longer take over your entire screen. Instead, a small window will appear on the right side of the screen. It’s a minor change, but it speaks to how light and unobtrusive Android is getting.
Android Go is a stripped-drown version of the full Android release designed specifically for devices with 512MB to 1GB of memory. It’s meant to boost the speed and reliability of entry-level devices, as well as provide security and reliability that’s often missing in low-end phones.
Of all the new stuff in Oreo, the feature everyone is going to want to try out first is picture-in-picture. It doesn’t yet work with a lot apps, but it’s a feature developers will likely want to support as quickly as possible. Using it is easy. When you’re watching a full-screen video in YouTube or Chrome, just press the home button and the video will shrink down to a window that floats on top of whatever else you’re doing.
Smart text selection
Another useful feature in Android Oreo is smart text selection, which aims to cut down on various test-handling frustrations. When you tap on an address in Oreo, the text-selection engine will be smart enough to recognize a full address, not just the word you’ve tapped on. And once it’s selected (by double-tapping the original highlighted word if it didn’t get it the first time), you’ll see a new option to head straight to Google Maps or (in the case of a phone number), the Phone app. There’s also a handy new “Paste as plain text” option that will strip any formatting.
Google has optimized much of Android Oreo behind the scenes to make your battery last longer.Google has concentrated its efforts on three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates.
Android Oreo devices should see a significantly reduced boot speed, but Pixel owners will particularly benefit. Google says boot times on the Pixel and Pixel XL have decreased by about half of the time it took to load under Nougat.
Show battery percentage in the status bar
Nearly every Android phone includes the option to display the battery percentage next to the icon in the status bar—except it wasn’t a stock feature until now. In Android Oreo, you’ll find a toggle inside the new Battery tab in Settings. Flip it on and you’ll always know exactly how much juice you have left.
Adjust Night Light
Night Light was one of our favorite new features in Android Nougat, but Google didn’t allow any control over it. That’s changed in Android 8. Head over to the Display tab in the Settings app and you’ll find a new intensity slider below the Night Light toggle.
Limit background activities on older apps
Apps that haven’t been upgraded to take advantage of the new Oreo APIs won’t get to take automatic advantage of the new limit on background activities, but there is a way to force it.