Google is tapping into the buzz created by the solar eclipse, using the celestial event as a pretext for the official presentation of the next generation (8.0) of its mobile operating system, Android O.
in the spring of this year, Google unveiled the main features and innovations of this new mobile system, which was made available as a beta version for the owners of Nexus (5X, 6P and Player) and Pixel (C, classic and XL) handsets.
The new release will notably feature an improved system to manage notifications, which will be grouped in "channels" that make them easier to access.
Google also wants to make Android a more fluid and intuitive user experience. With its integrated support for "picture-in-picture" modes, Android O users will be able to continue to watch a video or participate in a video conference, which will be displayed in a floating window, while surfing the web or using other applications.
Google Play Protect, which will continue to enable users to locate their different Android devices, will now scan all installed applications to detect malware or potential dangers on the level of system security.
Google also announced that it would improve power usage, by lowering the consumption of background apps to reduce their drain on battery life. At the same time, an autofill API that allows for automatic form filling will enable users to store logins and passwords for online services, their postal addresses and even credit card information, in secure dedicated applications like Dashlane, which should save everyone a lot of time.
One detail of the new operating system's identity has yet to be finalized. Google has yet to give Android O a tasty treat name as it has done for all previous versions of the software. In the wake of Android Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat, are we about to see the advent of Android Oreo?
The first handsets to be equipped with Android O will, barring a major upset, be the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Thereafter and throughout the fall, the operating system will be progressively deployed on all compatible -- that is to say high-end and recent -- models.
Tune into the official Android O presentation (android.com/eclipse) from 2:40pm ET.