Google Launches Android Oreo OS

Google has started rolling out a new Android 8.0 Oreo mobile operating system to Pixel and Nexus phones. The update features a picture-in-picture mode, new notification dots, and Bluetooth audio playback improvements, Google’s Android website posted in a blog on Tuesday.

The new operating system was announced in conjunction with the solar eclipse on Tuesday. “Smarter, faster, more powerful and sweeter than ever,” is how Oreo was described on the Android website. “The world’s favorite cookie is your new favorite Android release.” The site touts the Oreo bootup as being twice as fast as Nougat: “Get started on your favorite tasks more quickly with 2x the boot speed when powering up.”

In addition to speed, the new OS features a picture-in-picture mode where a user can multitask by viewing two apps at once. For instance, a user can watch a YouTube video and respond to an email at the same time, or participate in a video call and check the calendar at once. The user activates the feature by pressing the home button, which will shrink the video window to make room for the second app window.

Google Rolls Out Oreo Operating System

Google has started rolling out a new Android 8.0 Oreo mobile operating system to Pixel and Nexus phones. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Another flagship Oreo feature is notification dots, the Android version of Apple’s iOS notification badges which show the number of un-dismissed notifications for each app. With Oreo’s notification dots, when a user long-presses an app icon, a summary of notifications will be shown which can then be swiped away by the user. (Users can choose to turn off this feature.)

“Today, we are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform – and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever,” Google wrote on its blog Monday. “It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed.”

The Oreo update is expected to come to more phones such as Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and HTC U11 later this year, reports the Business Standard.