Mobile Technology

Android 8.0 Oreo is official, and rolls out to Pixel and Nexus devices first

Android 8.0 Oreo is official, and rolls out to Pixel and Nexus devices first
Android O is officially Android Oreo
Android O is officially Android Oreo
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Android O is officially Android Oreo
Android O is officially Android Oreo

Google has rolled out the finished version of its Android 8.0 mobile operating system, adding the nickname "Oreo" for good measure. As usual, the roll-out will take some time, with those owning Pixel and Nexus phones likely to be first in line.

With the beta having been launched earlier this year, there's not much we don't know about Android Oreo. You won't find any huge new features here, especially as Google (unlike Apple) updates flagship apps such as Gmail and Google Maps separately to its overall mobile OS.

Oreo does have some welcome tweaks though, including the ability to categorize notifications (so only the most important can interrupt you) and further improvements to managing apps and their power use, so your smartphone battery should last longer with Android 8.0 installed.

Boot times have also been improved, and security features in the Google Play Store are more prominently displayed to keep you safe against any unwanted malware.

Picture-in-picture mode is now supported across all apps, should you want to binge-watch Netflix while doing something else at the same time, and Google has also upgraded the way users can select text and get autofill suggestions for passwords, credit cards, and the like. Not major new features, but welcome nonetheless.

The most pertinent question is: when will you get it?

As usual, Google's own devices running stock Android are first in the queue, and we're waiting to hear from manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony as to when the software will hit their own flagships. Carrier testing is now under way for the Pixel phones, plus the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, Google says, so expect the OS to arrive soon if you own one of those devices.

While older smartphones might take a while to catch up – even last year's Android 7.0 Nougat is only on 14 percent of Android phones worldwide right now – plenty of new handsets will come rocking Android Oreo out of the box. It's likely to be installed on the upcoming LG V30, due at the end of August, and certain to be on board the next Pixel phones rumored to be seeing the light of day in October or November.

We'll have a full Android Oreo review for you soon, but until then you can learn more about the mobile OS at Google's official Android website (linked below).

Product page: Android Oreo

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