What started off in 2007 as a way to make mobile phones “smarter” has today become the largest mobile operating system in the world. Ever since Android was taken under the wing of Google, the software company has revolutionized the way we use our mobile devices, and despite strong competition from iOS and others that came before it, Android has persevered over the years ceremoniously.
Almost a decade after the first Android device was rolled out, Google unveiled Android 8.0 Oreo, which stands as the latest and greatest version of the mobile OS so far. While the market share of Oreo may be at just 4.6% for now, most of the modern devices are already sporting it, with plenty of new and exciting features that come with it. While features like Picture-in-Picture and Doze Mode have been quite popular, there are a bunch of useful Android 8.0 Oreo features that you may not be using already.
1. Snooze notifications
Android has been quite brilliant at handling notifications from the system and third-party apps from the get-go, but there have always been certain limitations. While Android devices up until Android 7.0 Nougat allowed notification preview, there was no way to dismiss a notification and set it to appear again after a while. Thanks to Oreo, you can now easily “snooze” notifications and set them to reappear after a period of time.
Slide down on the notification window to preview the notification.
Tap and hold the notification and gently slide it to the left or right to view the “clock” icon and tap on it.
By default, the notification will be snoozed for 1 hour, but you can tap on the slide-out menu bar and select 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours
2. Smart Text Selector
Google has been resourceful in using its search engine capabilities and making it the driving force behind services like Google Assistant, but it all goes to the next level with Android Oreo. The copy and paste text selector tool now comes with powered with Google and so much more, helping you select numbers and directly make a phone call, select an address and open it directly in Google Maps, and even select text in another language and have it translated right away.
With the text right in front of the screen, press and hold to select it.
When you select a phone number, the service will automatically give you a Phoneshortcut to call the number.
Selecting an address gives you a Google Maps shortcut to begin navigation directly.
Finding out what a certain word or phrase in the text means can be done by selecting and using Google Translate
3. Google Play Protect
Several studies have shown that most viruses and malware on Android devices reach through infected and malicious apps. This is why Google is hitting the source of the problem with the Google Play Protect service that it deployed with the unveiling of Android 8.0 Oreo last year. Once you have Play Protect enabled on your Android device, the service will regularly check the installed apps for any harmful activity.
Head over to the Google Play Store app on your Android device.
Tap on the three-line menu icon on the top-right corner and find the Play Protect
Tap the toggle switch next to “Scan device for security threats” to enable Play Protect service.
You can even enable “Improve harmful app detection” to allow Google to scan apps installed from unknown sources.
4. Controlled Unknown sources
As long as we’re on the subject of security, the biggest intentional loophole that the Android OS has seems to be the ability to sideload apps, which makes the device vulnerable. While you don’t want Google to eliminate the feature entirely since it is essential for app developers and testers, Android 8.0 Oreo does make it easier for the end-user to sideload apps without making their device completely vulnerable.
Head over to the Settings app on your Android device.
Under the Apps menu, find the Install unknown apps tab and open it.
Here you will be able to see the apps that have the ability to sideload apps.
Tap on the app that you want to grant or deny the ability to install apps from unknown sources.
5. Disable app-specific background usage
Since there’s no way to make mobile phone batteries any larger, Google is making the most out of software optimizations to give you more juice from each charge. While Doze Mode helps you conserve significant battery life during off-peak times, Android 8.0 now comes with the ability to help you limit background activity on a per-app basis, for which you needed special root privileges and third-party apps to do in the past.
Press and hold the app icon of the app you want to limit background processing for.
Tap on the AppInfo icon and head over to the Battery tab on the screen.
Under Manage battery usage section, disable the “Background activity” toggle switch.
This specific option is only available in apps that target the new API level in Android Oreo.
6. Google Autofill service
The ability to access your social media and other personal accounts, along with filling long forms was made easier on browsers with the autofill service. Now Google is finally bringing the same nifty feature to the entire Android platform with the help of the Autofill API which is included with Android 8.0 Oreo. Not only does it allow Google to automatically fill in for you, but also enables you to integrate password management apps like LastPass with the Autofill service to make your life a whole lot easier.
Head over to the Settings app on your Android device.
Scroll down to find the Languages & input tab and then open up Autofill service.
Select Google as your default autofill service.
You can also press the “+” icon to install supported apps that can be used with the autofill service.
Which of these useful Android 8.0 Oreo features did you end up discovering on your Android device for the very first time? Be sure to let us know in the comments section down below.