HTC 10, U11 and HTC U Ultra Android 8.0 Oreo Rollout and Features
Google unveiled the Android Oreo recently and it already hits the Pixel and Nexus flagship devices. The HTC flagships are yet to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update. The GOOD NEWS is that HTC USA announced U11, U Ultra and 10 flagships are going to receive the update soon.
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, HTC U11 and 10 flagships are going to get many new features like Picture in Picture mode, Notification channels, Smart Text selection, Notification dots and so on.
HTC U11 USA Android Oreo Rollout
Previously, HTC rolled out the Nougat update for HTC 10 in December 2016. So this time also, Android Oreo most likely hit the unlocked HTC U11 devices in the US in November or December 2017. HTC USA tweeted that HTC U11 is going to receive the update in Q4, 2017. The Carrier locked HTC U11 devices will receive the update at a later time.
HTC U11 Canada Android Oreo Release Dates
The Taiwanese tech giant launched HTC U11 in Canada without any carrier support. So now HTC U11 is available in Canada only as unlocked variant. Previously, all major Canadian carriers started the rollout of Android Nougat for the predecessor of HTC U11 in January 2017.
However, this time, HTC U11 users in Canada don’t have to wait that much long to taste the next flavour of Android. HTC Canada may begin the rollout of Android 8.0 Oreo for the unlocked HTC U11 devices in November 2017. The rollout may proceed in parallel with the rollout of HTC USA for the US HTC U11 devices.
HTC U11 Australia Android Oreo rollout
HTC U11 hit the shelves in June in Australia and currently available to buy for AU$999. Previously, Vodafone and Optus HTC 10 devices got the Nougat update in February and the Telstra devices received in June. Perheps, the Australian carriers will start the Android Oreo rollout for the HTC U11 flagship in Q1 of 2018.
HTC U11 United Kingdom Oreo update Rollout
Currently, the price of HTC U11 in the UK starts from £559 (Amazon) and may fall down in coming months. Recently the Alexa app hits the HTC U11 in the UK. Based on the previous rollout of Nougat for the HTC 10 flagship, we can easily predict when the Android 8.0 rollout spreads to UK HTC U11 devices. Previously, the HTC 10 devices in the UK were updated to Nougat in January 2017. So now, Android 8.0 Oreo may hit the HTC 10 devices in the UK in early January 2018. The confirmed rollout dates will be revealed by HTC UK soon.
HTC 10 Android Oreo Release
In the Best case scenario, the unlocked HTC 10 devices probably get the Android 8.0 Oreo in January 2018. Carrier locked HTC 10 devices will receive the update a while later.
Verizon HTC 10 Android Oreo Rollout
Previously, Verizon rolled out the Android Nougat update for HTC 10 flagship on March 2017. So the largest US Carrier may push out Android 8.0 to its HTC 10 devices in January or February 2018 through OTA. The official rollout dates of Android Oreo for Verizon HTC 10 devices will be revealed soon.
Sprint HTC 10 Android Oreo Rollout
Earlier, Sprint released the Nougat update for HTC 10 devices in February 2017. So this time, Sprint HTC 10 devices may get the Android 8.0 Upgrade in December or January.
HTC U Ultra Android Oreo Release
The initial rollout of Android 8.0 for the HTC U Ultra unlocked editions probably begin in December 2017. Carriers may start the rollout of Android Oreo for HTC U Ultra in January or February 2018. The Confirmed rollout dates for HTC U Ultra will be revealed in coming days.
Android Oreo Exclusive Features
1. Performance and Battery Life
Google made numerous performance improvements in Android Oreo. Due to the refinements, HTC U11 and 10 flagships 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.
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 HTC U Ultra, U11 and HTC 10 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.
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.
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 HTC U11, HTC 10 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.
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 HTC 10 and U11 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.
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 HTC U11 and 10 users might not see these changes due the HTC’s custom Sense skin.
8. New Bluetooth Audio 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 HTC 10 and U11 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. HTC U11 and U Ultra may also support the Project Treble but HTC is yet to confirm it.
10. Smart Text SelectionThe Smart Text Selection is one of the elegant features of Android Oreo. With Smart text selection, the HTC U11 and HTC 10 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.
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.
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 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.
We will update this article regularly with latest news of the Android Oreo update for HTC 10, U11 and U Ultra.