Android Nougat is the best version of Google’s smartphone-friendly OS to date – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a new version in the works.
We usually get an updated Android release once a year, with the first details beginning to spring up online before the summer. Which is right about now – and right on cue, leaks and rumours have started to appear.
You won’t have to trawl the web to find them yourself, though. We’ve gathered everything you need to know right here, including all the latest rumours and speculation, a possible release date, the features we’re expecting to see, and more.
WHAT WE KNOW
>> Google will give it a sweet-sounding name…
We just don’t know what yet. If there’s a deal to be done, as there was with Android KitKat, the smart money would be on seeing Android Oreo become official, but Oatmeal cookie is another front runner. There are plenty of more out-there ideas doing the rounds, though. How does Android Ozark pudding, or Android Ontbijtkoek sound?
>> It’ll add AI-friendly features
Two proposed Android O features include Copy Less and Gesture Triggers. The former will suggest text you’ve got open in other apps while you’re typing, so you don’t have to copy and paste things yourself, and the latter will let you draw a letter onscreen to automatically jump into a particular app – so drawing the letter C would open up Contacts. Gesture triggers might end up getting ditched, though – nothing has been confirmed in the run-up to launch.
>> We’ll hear more at Google I/O
Google usually drops hints about the next version of Android at its developer conference, even if it doesn’t give us juicy stuff like names or release dates any more (those come later now). At last year’s I/O we got our first look at multitasking through Split Screen mode, rich notification replies, and Doze mode battery saving. Expect something similar at I/O 2017.
>> You’ll be waiting a while to get it
If the sluggish uptake of Android Nougat is anything to go by, you could be waiting a while before your smartphone can update to Android O. It took four months for Nougat to go from developer preview to final, finished version with the Google Pixel phones, and we could be waiting a similar stretch this year as well. On the plus side, though, the in-line updates introduced with Nougat could make the process a little quicker.
Pixel and Nexus phones will be first in line, followed by the flagships from big-name brands. Got a phone that’s more than two years old, though? You might be out of luck. Not everyone keeps their old hardware up to date, so it’s worth checking back closer to launch to find out if you’re in line for an update or not.
ALL THE LATEST NEWS
>>> 7 March 2017
Venture Beat claims to have heard from a source about two new features coming in Android O: Copy Less and Gesture Triggers. The former uses AI smarts to grab text automatically, while the latter should make it easier to jump between apps – although it may also get dropped before Android O arrives.
>>> 20 February 2017
Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer likes to stir the pot on Twitter regarding the latest version of Android, and 2017 is no different. His latest tease suggests Android Oreo could be on the cards – but he also hinted at 2018’s potential name with an image of the Japanese snack Pocky.
>>> 24 January 2017
Google confirmed that its annual developer conference will take place on the 17th to the 19th of May – and will likely be where we get a first official glimpse at Android O.