Oreo is the most anticipated and awaited Android operating system by far. It promises to bring several exciting enhancements and some cool features to your device. Google has already made the release public on select devices. And, it is expected that the rollout for all the eligible devices will happen very soon.
Android Oreo’s list of new features is pretty impressive. But, not all the features are going to be conspicuous. It may take some luck for you to stumble upon some hidden features and that too over a period of use. Why wait when you can use your new OS to the full potential right from the beginning? Whether you have already upgraded to Oreo or are waiting for it, here is the list of some awesome tricks you would like to get familiar with. Take a look!
Customize Channel Notifications
There is a good chance you may have already heard of Oreo’s Notification Channels and custom notification categories for apps. These new features make notification management easier and more convenient. For instance, you could have your device display the offline and online notifications separately for a particular app. You also have more control over which notifications an app will display and which it will not.
Channel system is innovative but it may take some doing to get used to it. Some may even find it a bit vexing. Thankfully, you can switch off a channel for an app quite easily. All you need to do is long press the notification from the app and on the next screen move the toggle to the right for that channel. If you would like to see the list of all the channels for an app, simply press “All Categories.” Here, you can disable all the channels you don’t want to see the notifications for (and also enable the channels if you wish to restore notifications).
If you don’t want to wait for the notification to appear before you could customize the notification for an app, you can go to the Settings menu. Simply navigate to Settings >> Apps & notifications >> App info. Select the app you would like to customize the notifications for. You can choose one of the following priority options:
- High Priority: Sound notification and notification shade message
- Urgent Priority: Sound and pop-up notification
- Medium Priority: Notification shade only. No sound.
- Low Priority: No sound and no visual notification
Most notifications are set at “High Priority” by default. But, you can change them from here.
Snooze App Notifications
You receive an important notification while in the middle of a meeting. You cannot open that notification but you also do not wish to miss it. You want to make sure you open it at a later time.
One option is to leave the notification unopened and untouched so that it stays in the notification shade. But, what if you clear all notifications inadvertently?
The good news is Oreo 8.0 lets you snooze the notifications so that they reappear at a later, predefined time.
To reschedule a notification, just swipe it right or left (do not let go off the finger from the screen) until you can see the clock and gear icon. Now you will see the dropdown to choose the snooze time, which could be 15 min, 30 min, or 2 hrs. If you do not select anything from the given options, the notification will snooze for 1 hr by default.
To reschedule a message, swipe to the right or left of a notification until you see the gear and clock icon. Notifications snooze for 1 hour by default, but tapping the drop down arrow will offer options to snooze for 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 2 hours. Select one, and you’ll see the notification again when the time comes.
Please note that not all the notifications can be snoozed. Like the other versions, Oreo does not let you reschedule or dismiss the ongoing ones. For instance, the notification about the ongoing, active USB connectivity of your device to the PC cannot be rescheduled.
Enable the Notification Dots
The newly introduced notification dots with Android Oreo are much like notification badges the iOS users are already familiar with. Notification dots are a great way to keep any eye on the notifications without having to pull down the notification shade. These dots appear right above the app, which has a notification for you. You can press and hold the dots to see the content of the notification. It may also allow you to take subsequent actions.
Notification dots aren’t enabled by default. You will need to turn them ON. Go to Settings >> Apps & Notifications. Select Notifications and turn ON the option labeled as “Allow icon badges”.
This turns on the notification dots for all the apps. If you would like to turn it on only for specific apps, you can do that too. Go to Settings >> Apps & Notifications >> Notifications. Select Notifications again to see the list of the apps. Turn ON the notification dots for the desired app.
Enable Picture-in-Picture Mode
This is another one of the most anticipated and talked about features of Android O. Picture-in-Picture mode makes multitasking a whole lot easier than before. Nougat let you split the screen. But, that was not necessarily convenient. The Picture-in-picture feature snaps a small square block in which you can access any app you desire. At the same time, you could have another app open on the main screen. This allows you to easily switch between the apps. For instance, while watching a YouTube video, you could also chat with your friend.
Here is how you can enable P-i-P mode:
- Go to Settings >> Apps & notifications
- Tap “Advanced”
- Select “Special app access”
- Tap “Picture-in-Picture” from the available options
- You will now see the list of apps that support this mode. All you need to do is select the desired app and enable “Allow picture-in-picture.”
Use Autofill Within the Apps
Google Smart Lock service has been around for a while and a lot of Android users are already acquainted with it. This service saves your login credentials and populates them automatically when you access the same website again. But, Google Smart Lock was limited to web browsing only. Thanks to Android 8.0, this feature has been extended to the apps as well. I am quite confident that this will make my life a lot easier.
What it does is pretty simple. Oreo saves your login credentials for an app and offers to repopulate them automatically the next time you try to log in to that app.
If you are logging into the app for the first time, you will see a confirmation message with the text, “Save to Autofill with Google.” To save the information and to use it automatically later, simply tap “Save.”
When you are logging into the app the next time, Oreo will display the list of the saved login details. You can choose the one for the app.
What’s more incredible is that Oreo lets you integrate third-party password managers like Dashlane and LastPass to its auto-fill service.
Limit the Background Use of Apps
Battery life is one of the most important deciding factors for many while buying a smartphone. As the smartphones get smarter, the power consumption becomes heavier. Power optimization has been a challenge for the device manufacturers.
Even before Oreo was released, its ability to preserve battery life had already become the talk of the town. The good news is that Android O does save you quite a bit of power by limiting the background usage of the apps. And, Oreo does it automatically.
Besides this, Oreo also gives you the snapshot of the apps by power consumption. This allows you to disable the apps that are eating up most of the battery.
Pull down the notification panel where you can see the notifications from Android System. Here, you will be able to see the list of all the apps that are running in the background. Tap on an app and it will open the App Info screen. Here, you can tap “Force Stop” and stop the app. It will not run in the background anymore.
If you wish to uninstall the app, press “Uninstall” button instead.
Using Smart Text Selection
Selecting the text using the fingers isn’t always the easiest thing to do. You need to tap at the starting point and drag to the end point with another finger. Placing the fingertip at the right spot could get a little challenging.
Thanks to Oreo’s smart text selection feature, selecting some types of texts is now easier than before. This operating system automatically detects some texts such as phone number and addresses. All you need to do is a double tap on the text to select it. Cool! Isn’t it?
That’s not all though. Once you have selected the text, Google will suggest the context sensitive actions related to it. For instance, if it’s a phone number, Google will offer to dial it for you. In case of an address, it will ask if you would like to look up for it on Google Map.
Enhanced Search Function for Settings Menu
Up until Nougat, search function for Settings menu wasn’t exactly what you would like to call ‘exciting.’ With Oreo, however, it is not only more exciting, it is also more useful. There is more you see in the search results even if the search text is seemingly simple. Not only can you see what exactly have you typed for, you also see useful info pertaining to your search.
For example, if you typed ‘Wifi’ in the search bar, you will see multiple entries in the search results. At the same time, you will also see the navigation path for that result.
Also, as compared to Nougat, you see more search results. This helps you easily find what you are exactly looking for.
Change the Shape of the Icons
Essentially, before Android Oreo, the Android interface offered you the same square (or squarish) shape for the icons. The Android users have got so used to it that they don’t even complain. But, Oreo brings to you a delightful change. It lets you change the shape of the icons and there are multiple options available. Besides square, you can choose from Teardrop, Squircle, Rouded Square and of course the System Default
To change the shape, open Settings Menu and select “Change icon shape.” Choose the desired shape!
Quick Settings for Developer Options
The Developer Options are tucked inside the layers of Settings menu. You need to go tap through a few options to get there. This could be pretty tiresome, especially when you need to access these settings frequently. But, Oreo makes things easier for you by letting you add the options to Quick Tiles panel. Here is what you need to do to enable this option:
- Go to Settings >> System >> Developer options
- Scroll down a bit and tap “Quick settings developer tiles”
- Enable the desired tiles you wish to add