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Android O Coming Soon, Final Developer Preview 4 Released

target version and Android O phases

The final preview release of the Android O, Developer Preview 4 rolls out on Monday, to help developers make sure their apps are ready for the official release, which is slated to be available to consumers later this summer.

Developer Preview 4, the release candidate build includes the final system behaviors, stable version of the Android 26.0.0 Support Library, incremental updates to the SDK, tools, and Android Emulator system images, alongwith the final APIs “level 26.”

Also, a new version of Android Testing Support Library, that includes new features like Android Test Orchestrator, Multiprocess Espresso, and more is available.

Those, starting development for the first time, should intall latest Android Studio 3.0 version for getting started O development, that makes it easier to develop with Instant Apps, XML Fonts, Downloadable Fonts, and Adaptive Icons. Aside from improved app performance profiling tools, it also support “Kotlin programming language, and Gradle build optimizations.” It’s also recommended to updating to stable Android Support Library 26.0.0, latest SDK, tools, and emulator system images.

Devices already enrolled in the Android Beta Program, will receive over-the-air (OTA) of O Developer Preview 4 in the next few days — available for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and the Android Emulator.

Once the OTA arrives, just install your current app from Google Play, and test the user flows, in particular, pay attention to background location limits, notification channels, and changes in networking, security, and identifiers. Once you’ve resolved any issues, publish your APK updates in alpha, beta, or production channgels on Google Play Store.

Google advises to update project’s compileSdkVersion to API 26 to compile against official O APIs, and updating your app’s targetSdkVersion to API 26 to opt-in and test the app with Android O specific behavior changes.

For more information, see this migratin guide.

Android O compatibility flow
Android O compatibility flow
Android O application building flow
Android O application building flow

Features of Android O and APIs, include:

  • Notification channels and dots that keep users active in the app and let them jump directly the app’s core functions, shortcut pinning in the launcher, picture-in-picture, autofill, among others.
  • Features like adaptive icons, downloadable fonts, and autosizing TextView simplifies development and minimize APK size.
  • Battery is also a top concern for users, so they’ll appreciate your app being optimized for background execution limits and other important changes in vital system behavior for O apps.

As always, you can also download and flash this update manually.

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