Android Oreo for Sony Xperia X and XZ

Android oreo Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia X and Xperia XZ devices received the Android 7.0 Nougat update in December 2017. Recently, Sony also rolled out the Android 7.1.1 update for both the devices. The second major update for Xperia X and XZ devices is Android 8.0 Oreo.

Xperia X and XZ Android Oreo Release

Sony Mobile recently confirmed that both Xperia X and XZ devices will be updated to Oreo. Android Oreo might be the final major update for these devices. Earlier, Xperia XZ flagship received the Android 7.0 Nougat in the beginning of December 2017. In April, Sony pushed out the Android 7.1.1 update for Xperia X devices which brought new emojis and some other minor improvements.

Sony still hasn’t published any timeline for the rollout of Oreo for Xperia devices, but we can a make a very intelligent guess based on the previous rollout. 

Sony Xperia X and XZ devices may receive the Android Oreo update in November or December 2017. The rollout may first hit Australia, India, Nordic and Baltic countries and spread to other contries in a few days. The unlocked Xperia XZ devices in the US may receive the Oreo update in Q1 of 2018.

The confirmed rollout dates of Android Oreo for Xperia X and Xperia XZ will be revealed soon.

Update on 7/10/2017 : Sony releases AOSP Android Oreo to Open Devices program

A few days ago, Sony released the AOSP Android 8.0 Oreo on its Open Devices program giving oppertunity for Xperia developers to play with the latest flavour of Android. By using the resources in open devices page and following the build guide, custom rom developers can now cook Oreo based roms for Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZs, Xperia XZ, Xperia X Performance
Xperia X and Xperia X Compact devices.

So ahead the official release of Android Oreo for these flagship devices, developers can bring custom roms on their own. The Open devices program of Sony also useful for developers to test their software and apps prior to the official rollout of Android Oreo.

Google launched the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system on 21st, August, the day of Solar Eclipse with many exclusive features and refinements. The Search giant released four developer previews of Android O prior to the final release. With the Android Oreo update, Xperia X and XZ are going to get many new features like Picture in Picture mode, Notification channels, Smart Text selection, Notification dots and so on. Now we will roundup some prime improvements and features of Android 8.0 Oreo.

Android Oreo Exclusive Features

Android Oreo update

Android Oreo

1. Performance and Battery Life

Google made numerous performance improvements in Android Oreo. Due to the refinements, Xperia X and XZ devices will boot twice as fast. Some Pixel and Pixel XL users reported that their device boot times reduced to 15 secs after upgrading to Android 8.0. The Pixel users also reported that apps are loading much faster on Oreo due to improved cache management. Oreo automatically clears the app cache if performance is about to slow down. So apps start in no time and also provide fluid like expereince for users.

Android oreo fast boot

Battery life is also refined in Android Oreo due to Background limits and other optimizations. Some Pixel users said that Android 8.0 improves the battery life by about 10-20%. Oreo displays the list of persistent background apps on notification bar. So users can terminate unnecessary app processes easily, consequently battery drain will be reduced.

2. Notification Channels

The Xperia X and XZ users can get granular control over Notifications through the Android Oreo Notification Channels. So we can specifically choose which type of notifications appears from the app. For example, a news app can only push Tech update notifications when the user chooses that. In messaging apps, notifications from a specific group could be muted. Users can also change the importance and override Do Not Disturbe feature of Notifications.

Android Oreo notification channels

Users can also snooze notifications in Android Oreo. When a user swipe slightly to left on the notification, the snooze options will appear. User can set any time in 15min, 30min and 1Hour after which the notification reappears with the same priority. In Android 8.0, Notifications appear in different background colours to easily recognize them.

Android Oreo notification snooze

3. Autofill Framework

With the Autofill framework of Oreo, the user can easily complete filling of forms like Account creation, Login, Credit card etc. So the Autofill framework feature makes the password management and login easy for both app developers and users. Google may further improve this elegant feature in Android P.

4. Notification Dots

If a new notification arrived for an app, a small circular blob appears on top of the app icon in Android Oreo. On long pressing the app, we can view a brief preview of the notification in the form of bubble like a small window just like on an iPhone. The Xperia X and XZ users either directly jump into the app by just tapping on the preview of the notification in the bubble or check the full notification from the notification bar. Users can easily view the preview of Notifications like Whatsapp messages, Instagram comments by just long tapping on the app icons on Android 8.0 without reaching for the Notification bar every time.

Android oreo notification dots

Android 8.0 Oreo Notification Dots

5. Picture in Picture Mode

PiP (Picture in Picture) is an impressive feature of the Android Oreo operating system. Previously, Google introduced the PiP feature for Android TVs with Android 7.0 Nougat. Now Android 8.0 brings this elegant feature for Android Smart Phones and Tablets.

The Picture in Picture feature permits users to watch videos on a corner of the screen while using another app on the remaining part of the screen. So users can easily play YouTube videos besides working with other apps with the PiP feature of Android Oreo. So Xperia X and XZ users can easily multitask on the massive display with the Android Oreo update.

6. App Background Limits

In every iteration of Android, Google tries something new to improve Battery life. In the Android Oreo update, the Search Giant introduced Background limits for apps to save more battery juice. The app Background limits restrict background services, broadcasts of apps to save memory bandwidth and also Battery. The Background execution limits of Android 8.0 only affect the apps which are idle in the background and they don’t limit apps with visible activity and foreground services etc.

7. New Settings Menu

Previously with Android Nougat, Google partially revamped the Settings menu. Now with Android Oreo, the Search giant completely revamped the Settings menu. The Settings Menu of Android Oreo organized into different Categories to become compact and user friendly. Google also changed the design of the Settings app in Android Oreo. The background of the Settings menu changed to Light grey while the Header text appears in Black color on the gray background.

Android Oreo settings menu nexus 5x

The new categories of Settings arranged nicely so that we can find any setting option easily. Google removed the slide-out navigation menu. Probably, it is due to the new compact Settings menu. The Xperia X and XZ users might not see these changes due Sony’s custom UI.

8. New Bluetooth Audio codecs

Android Oreo Bluetooth codecs

Android Oreo contains new Bluetooth audio codecs like LDAC, aptx etc. The options for Bluetooth audio codecs are located in the Developer options. The Xperia XZ and X users can access them by going into Settings>Developer Options after updating to Oreo. The Bluetooth Audio codecs available in Android Oreo are LDAC, SBC, AAC, aptx and aptx HD. LDAC is the codec from Sony which can transfer data at 990 kbps. aptx and aptx HD are high quality streaming protocols from Qualcomm and aptx HD supports 24-bit music quality over Bluetooth. So these advanced codecs play high quality music over compatible Bluetooth headsets or headphones.

9. Quick Updates

With Android Oreo, Google is trying to make updates “easier, faster and less costly” for device manufacturers.Project Treble is the new solution for slow Android updates. Because of Project treble, manufacturers like Samsung, Sony could send the update directly to their devices without waiting for chip makers like Qualcomm. With a stable vendor interface preloaded on the device, manufacturers could directly release new android updates for their devices by just updating the Android framework. So bootloop and big update size problems also might be solved if Project Treble works in the right way. Project Treble will come to all devices preloaded with Android Oreo. But Xperia XZ and X may not support Project Treble.

10. Smart Text Selection

Android Oreo Smart Text Selection

Android Oreo Smart Text Selection

The Smart Text Selection is one of the elegant features of Android Oreo. With Smart text selection, the Xperia XZ and X users can easily do copy/paste text. With the help of On-device learning, it can recognize addresses, phone numbers, URLs and E-Mail addresses. For example, when the user double taps on any address, Android 8.0 will select the whole address and display relevant options. By using the options displayed, user can directly open the Google Maps app to help navigate to that address.

11. Wide Color Gamut Support

Android 8.0 Oreo arrives with the in-built support for wide-color gamut apps. So with the Oreo upgrade, the apps display wide-range of colors in HDR displays. OLED displays also display wide range of colors with Android Oreo. So flagship devices like Galaxy S8, LG G6, Xperia XZ1 and HTC U11 will support this feature. Some flagships of 2016 may also support the wide-color gamut.

12. Wi-Fi Aware

Although this is one of the minor features of Android Oreo, it has so much potential to do wonders in the future. The Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Aware project completed in 2015 and now Android Oreo brought the support as Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) for Smart Phones. With Wi-Fi Aware or Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) two devices can get connected instantly without Wi-Fi Access point or cellular connectivity. The feature works by forming clusters in neighboring devices and forming a new cluster if a device is the first one in an the area.

Android Oreo WiFi aware

The Wi-Fi Aware APIs are currently available to apps that target API 26 (Android 8.0). With these APIs, app developers can integrate the Wi-Fi Aware support in their apps. The connections through Wi-Fi Aware are more reliable than Wi-Fi P2P connections and provides far more range than Bluetooth. They can also create bi-directional Wi-Fi Aware connections without an access point. But hardware support is also required for Wi-Fi Aware along with Firmware, according to Android Developers. But it seems that the hardware support is available only in a handful of devices at this time.

13. Auto-Connect to Wi-Fi

This is one of the features of Android Oreo much useful to users. Till Android Nougat, if the user turned off Wi-Fi after leaving home, Wi-Fi couldn’t be connected automatically when the user arrived to home. Google introduced an option in Android Oreo to connect to Wi-Fi automatically near high-quality networks like home Wi-Fi network.

Android Oreo Autoenable Wi-Fi

Users can enable it by going into Settings>Network and Internet>Wi-Fi> Wi-Fi Preferences and Toggle on Turn on Wi-Fi automatically. So the device connects to high-quality networks when the user is near to them by turning on the Wi-Fi. But the user have to turn off the Wi-Fi manually after leaving the area or home to save battery juice. Google may refine this feature in future updates.

14. Persistent Notifications

Android Oreo persistent notifications

Android Oreo constantly displays the notification about the apps running in the background. The persistent notifications about the apps running in the background help users to save battery. The user can close the app running by tapping on the notiification and prevent battery drain.

But some times Android Oreo Persistent notifications seem to be annoying as they clutter the workspace. If some apps like Facebook Messenger or Twilight are running, the persistent notification appears and clutter the user interface. Officially there is no way to prevent the persistent notifications, but there are some apps available in the play store to hide persistent notifications for those users who not wanted them. Google may refine these notifications in the next Android update.

Update on 31/8/2017 :

Xperia xz1 oreo

Sony has officially announced the list of Xperia devices which are getting the Oreo update. The list includes : Xperia X, Xperia X Performance, Xperia XZ, Xperia X Compact, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZs, Xperia XA1, Xperia XA1 Ultra, Xperia Touch and Xperia XA1 Plus. Sony also launched Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact with pre-loaded Android 8.0 Oreo. Sony hasn’t announced the exact timeframe for the rollout, but as Google announced, the flagship devices will get Android Oreo by the end of this year.

Update on 7/9/2017 :

According to the tear down of Google App 7.11 done by 9to5Google, the next update for Android Oreo is 8.1. The source claims that they have found the evidences of Android 8.1 and the API 27. As Android 8.1 will be a major update over Android 8.0, the API level will be increased. It is pretty similar to the last year’s Android Nougat and Android 7.1. In 2017, Google released the Android 7.1 update about three months after the Android 7.0 release.

Google app android 8.1

So this time also, Google may soon start the beta program of Android 7.1 for Nexus and Pixel devices. Some Tech analysts say that the upcoming Pixel 2 flagship will land with Android 7.1 similar to the first Pixel. More details about the Android 8.1 update, features and release date will be revealed soon.

One Comment

  1. plmorpheus August 7, 2017 at 6:17 am - Reply

    2018? I think you mean 2017.

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