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.
Update on 15/11/2017 :
According to Phonearena and Android Central, hTC started the rollout of Android 8.0 Oreo for HTC U11 owners in Taiwan. The size of the update is about 1.33 GB, so it is recommended to download on Wi-Fi with good strength.
The rollout is limited to Taiwan, it is still unknown when the Global edition of HTC U11 will receive the Oreo update. November Security patch also included in the update and VoWi-Fi on Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom will be enabled through this update. Full details about the rollout of Android 8.0 update for HTC U11 will be revealed in coming days.
Update on 26/11/2017 :
HTC’s VP announced that HTC U11 devices in the US will start receiving the Android Oreo update from Monday. So in a few hours, HTC U11 owners receive the update notifications. Currently, the rollout is limited to the unlocked variants of HTC U11 only but soon Sprint will join the rollout.
As the Taiwanese variants received the update of huge size, 1.33 GB, the US unlocked variants of U11 may also receive the update of similar size. Users can check for updates manually by going into the Settings > About Phone > Software updates. The Android 8.0 rollout will disseminate to the HTC 10 unlocked variants very soon, according to HTC.
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
The Autofill Framework feature of Android Oreo solves a major problem of android users. With this feature, Android Password manager apps can automatically fill the login forms, credit card information, address wherever necessary. Many password manager apps like Lastpass have already been optimized to work with autofill framework.
So with this exclusive feature of Android 8.0, less time is required to fill the forms, as no need to type manually, so no room for any typing mistakes. Users can enable or disable autofill service by going into Settings > System > Languages & input > Advanced > Input assistance > Autofill service. The Autofill feature might be improved further in the Android 9.0 update.
4. Notification Dots
Android Oreo borrowed this exclusive feature from iOS which has been available for iPhone users from a long time. With the Notification Dots feature, apps will display a small blob on top of the icon on homescreen when a fresh notification arrived. If multiple notifications arrived at the same time for the app, then notification count also be displayed in the blob. So this feature is very much useful most of the users. But at this moment the Notification blobs or Dots feature is only works with Pixel Launcher and none of the other launchers supporting it.
The Notification Dots feature comes as disabled by default, so users have to enable before using it. Users can enable it by going into Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications > Allow Notification Dots. To allow Notification access for Pixel launcher : Settings > Apps & Notifications > Advanced > Special App Access > Notification Access and enable Pixel Launcher. After completing these steps, users will be able enjoy the Notification Dots feature on their Pixel launcher home screen.
When the user taps on the blob, a small window with the preview of Notification will be displayed. User can enter into the app by tapping on the Notification Preview on the window or view full notification in the Notification Panel.
5. Picture in Picture (PiP) Mode
Previously, through Android Nougat, Google introduced the split screen window feature which is very much useful while multitasking. Although there are some lags while using multi-window feature it comes handy while doing some serious malti-tasking. But the multi-windows feature wasn’t designed fot video playback apps. So the Search Giant brought PiP feature in Android 8.0 Oreo. The exclusive feature supports many popular video playback apps like Youtube and also video calling apps like Whatsapp and Google Due. The Google Maps app also supports this feature of Android 8.0.
So with Picture in Picture feature, users can talk in a videocall while browsing the web and so on. To use PiP mode, users just have to press the home button while using the supported app. The app will be resized to small and sit st the corner of the screen. The user can also move the window, increase the size of the window and close the window from controls.
But currently, only a handful of apps are supporting the feature like Google Playstore, Google Play Movies and TV, Youtube red, Google Duo and Chrome. App developers may implement the Android Oreo API in their apps in coming days to support the PiP mode.
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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.