With today’s launch of the last developer preview, Android O nears its official summer launch. DP4 features “near-final system images” and should be fairly similar to the initial public version. Till then, we’re compiling a list of all the changes and new features.
Notification Dots with Adaptive coloring
Back in DP3, the Android team experimented with light blue notification dots that made for a rather stale and boring appearance on homescreens and the app launcher. Google initially noted at I/O 2017 that the new notification dots would be adaptive and draw their colors from the app icon. Fortunately, Google has returned to this approach for the final release of Android O.
No more system notifications for media apps
One big annoyance in DP3 was persistent notification for media apps like Google Play Music and Spotify. In this latest preview, they are fortunately no longer present.
Android O Easter Egg
Because version 8.0 and eight arms… For more about the new Easter Egg, check out our full article.
Bolder battery percentage in the status bar
For some, Android O moving the battery percentage indicator from inside the battery icon to beside it was controversial due to the added vertical space in the status bar. However, the new design is undeniably easier to read and to further aid in that design, Google is making the percentage noticeably bolder in DP4.
Tweaked lockscreen with smaller text
The clock widget on the lockscreen is now slightly smaller, while the day and date is no longer in all caps, but rather properly cased. For more about these changes, check out the full article.
New icon for system apps
Tweaked bootscreen on Pixel
The “Powered by Android” text now appears at the end of the Pixel’s boot sequence underneath the abbreviated ‘G’ logo instead of at the very beginning with the full logo.
Removed gap between Quick Toggles and Notification panel
To visually separate Quick Toggles and the Notification panel, DP3 experimented with a partial, but noticeable gap between the two sections. DP4 signficantly reduces its size to make for less of an eye sore while still achieving the same effect.
Always-on language detection in Google Text-to-speech
Spotted by AP, version 3.12.9 of the Google Text-to-speech Engine adds a new Always-on language detection feature. Labeled as “Experimental,” it allows for TTS to read alout different languages without having to manually head into settings to switch the output language.
On Android O, it can be enabled by heading to Settings > System > Language & input > Advanced > Text-to-speech output > Settings gear.
Grinning emoji no longer looks like Grimacing face
As the death of “Blob” emoji continues, Google is refining the new style ahead of Android 8.0’s final release later this summer. As noted by AP, the “grinning face” emoji no longer looks like the “grimacing face.” DP4 changes this emoji to have more of a smile rather than just maintaining a straight one.
Paste as Plain Text
The floating toolbar that appears when text editing features a new “Paste as Plain Text” option. For more about this feature visit our full post.