Google's Android O developer version
Google's Android O developer versionScreenshot from Developer Android site

Google released a developer preview for its new operating system Android O well ahead of its release. The search giant made a developer preview of its OS for the first time with its last year's Nougat and has continued this time too.

VP of Engineering, Google, Dave Burke has announced the release of Android O first developer preview. The OS is currently available for download but more features are on its way and lots of work to be done in terms of stabilization and performance, as it is still in the early stage. More updated developer previews will be released over the next few months and more details to be revealed at the Google I/O event in May.

Also read: What to expect from Nougat successor Android O?

The first developer preview of Android O comes with many new features and APIs (application programming interface). Efforts have been put in to improve battery life of a device, and Dave Burke said that "additional automatic limits have been put on what apps can do in the background." The new firmware will feature notification channels that will let users to block or change the behaviour of each channel individually instead of managing all the app's notifications together. There is also new visuals and grouping to notifications, making it easier for the users to know what's going on.

The Android O too has autofill APIs, use fonts in XML layouts, option to create adaptive icons, wide-gamut colour for apps, supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs such as LDAC codec, keyboard navigation, AAudio API for Pro Audio, WebView enhancements, and supports new Java Language APIs.

How to get Android O started in your device:

Make your app compatible to ensure users a seamless transition to Android O. Download a device system image, install your current app, and test it. Publish it to Google Play.

The developer preview of Android O can be testes on a desktop emulator, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C devices. More preview system images and SDK will be rolled to ensure that everything is perfect when the final version is rolled out. Those who want to try the OS developer preview should manually download it from Android site and flash it on their devices.

The Android O public beta is expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Google I/O event from May 17 to 19. It could be named after a sweet in all probability like in the case of Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat used in the past. And it won't come as a surprise if it's named after Oreo, Orange or Oatcake.