I’ve spent a few weeks with Android Oreo. By this time we were able to like. The system does not create almost any problems, and most of the changes I took with open arms. Here are the most important changes for me.
A Picture in Picture. Eventually
In recent years smartphone screens have grown drastically. We have reached such size that some devices can not handle comfortably with one hand. You may object to this, but the facts are that the consumption of content won with ergonomics by knockout.
The screens grew and grew, but the software that was sitting on the smartphones did not change much in terms of how to use the new, larger surface. Only Android 7.0 Nougat introduced a good splitting screen and allowed to display two applications at the same time.
Android 8.0 Oreo in a sense develops this feature, but instead of displaying one app next to the other allows you to display a special, reduced version of one application over another.
The best example of how well it works in practice is Google Maps, where you can exit and switch to any other application. We do not lose navigation information because it is always running in the background and a preview of the miniature map of the map we have all the time thanks to a small window that flies over other open applications.
This is especially useful for hiking when we have navigation enabled and we want to use it simultaneously with other features of the phone. In the case of car navigation, the function has a little less sense, because we should not use smartphones at all. However, when standing at traffic lights or driving down the road, we can quickly go to any application without losing sight of the map.
Force Touch imitation
Apple has had Force Touch on the iPhone for over two years, and in the Android camp, there are not even much bigger lures to copy this solution well and deploy it to all new devices or even those on the top shelf.
Force Touch is a screen pressure recognition feature that allows the user to perform the same gestures and gestures to perform various functions. Something else means touching an icon, and something else pressing it harder.
This seemingly insignificant change significantly changes how quickly a mobile device is used. The user has to make far fewer touches on the screen to launch the desired function.
Android tried to copy it, but … in its own way.
It was not decided to use pressure-sensitive screens. Instead, a similar function is implemented in the software. The difference is that the software does not recognize the force, and the hold time is on the icon.
A short touch of the icon launches the application. Long calls a menu that gives access to the fast functions of the application. Or … it does not call this menu.
Exactly. Such a long hold appeared on the Nougat Android, but it soon became apparent that it was not useful. Many apps do not use the popup menu while holding down the icon, which, in practice – as is sometimes the case in Android – introduced chaos.
The user who wanted to hold the icon to call the menu was often surprised that instead of appearing, the icon was grabbed and the finger moved across the screen.
This was due to the fact that the same gesture on Android had two completely different functions. And if the creator of the application did not introduce a new menu – and many did not do – then such an application behaved in the old.
For good reason, the user never knew what would happen when he held the icon for a longer time. So, on the Nougat Android I almost did not use this feature because it was not working for a long time, and every now and then I put icons on the desktop.
In Android 8.0 Oreo solved this problem. Now holding the finger on each icon works the same and triggers a popup menu. With the reservation that this menu does not always look the same. If the application uses a new feature, the menu will find options for useful shortcuts. If the creator of the app has not used the new capabilities of Android, then the menu will lead to app and widget information if the app has one.
This seemingly minor change in Android Oreo has finally made it possible to use the feature that was added to the Android Nougat. Only pity that not all big application developers have decided to use it. Among those who forget about it is even Google, who has not introduced a new menu to Inbox.
The third feature I really liked in Android Oreo is the auto-completion of forms in apps. A solution for years known from web browsers that can remember our email addresses, phone numbers or home addresses. Because we do not have to type them each time, it’s easier to sign up for new services and avoid mistakes in forms.
The smartphone was different. On these small keyboards, we had to manually enter all the data, which often caused confusion. Oreo solves this problem. Now logins in our applications automatically suggest our logins and e-mail addresses. Little change, but a great convenience.
A spoonful of cake in a sweet Oreo cake is a new emoji.
I can not get used to them and I miss the old ones. Previous had their own style and they were nice to the eye. Sure, I understand that not everyone would like it, but personally, I was their fan.
New not only do not like me but also seem very blind. They are not very different from those used by Apple and Microsoft. And it does not convince me that it could be about unifying the language of emoji.
If technology companies really wanted to work out a common solution, it would have long since been done. And the fact is that today when sending someone a funny face or a little emoji graphic, we are not sure how she will appear at the recipient and … we are not sure if she will show up at all. Because emoji databases on different devices, operating systems, and network services are not identical.
I hope that the giants of the technological world, who are rivals for themselves on a daily basis, will finally come up with a solution that will make the users of different platforms and services free to communicate both by writing and sending graphics on both sides. They will always present the same objects, activities, and emotions.