Android 8 Oreo for Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs Release Date and FeaturesSony Xperia XZ Premium was launched with 5.5 inch LCD Display with 4K resolution in February and hit the shelves in June. The XZ Premium flagship is powered by Snapdragon 835 chipset and boasts 4GB Ram.
Sony Xperia XZs was launched in February and arrived into the Market in April. The XZs flagship sports 5.2 inch Display with FHD resolution and is powered by Snapdragon 820 chipset. Both the flagships arrived with the pre-loaded Android 7.1 Nougat and the first big update for these flagships is Android 8.0 Oreo.
Android Oreo for Xperia XZ Premium Release Date
Sony may start the Android Oreo concept program for Xperia XZ Premium devices in August. The final build might be pushed out for the Sony XZ Premium flagship in November 2017. Official rollout dates will be revealed soon.
Also Read : Android Oreo coming for Xperia X and XZ soon
Android Oreo for Xperia XZs Release Date
The Japanese tech giant probably starts the rollout of the Android 8.0 update for the unlocked Xperia XZs devices in December 2017. Carrier locked XZs devices may get the update in Q1 of 2018.
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.
Update on 19/10/2017 :
Xperia Blog says that Sony Japan confirmed Xperia XZ Premium will receive the Android 8.0 update in December. As the rollout starts in December in Japan, the rest of the world may get the update earlier. So in Europe, the rollout of Oreo for Xperia XZ Premium may begin in late-November. So far, no update news about the other Xperia flagship has been revealed, but Sony may possibly start the rollout to them along with Xperia XZ Premium.
So Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium Oreo rollout may begin at the same time. The official rollout dates will be revealed soon.
Update on 23/10/2017 :
Xperia XZ Premium receiving the Oreo update
Sony Mobile announced that the Oreo rollout for Xperia XZ Premium has started. Sony has became the first tech giant to rollout the Oreo update other than Google. Android 8.0 update for Sony XZ Premium carries the version no. 47.1.A.3.254. The Japanese tech giant also revealed the changelog of the update in the blog. According to the official blog, the new features coming with the update are 3D Creator, Predictive Capture, Autofocus Burst, aptX HD codec for headphones and many more sweet features of Oreo.
Sony introuced the 3D Creator feature with Xperia XZ1 flagship and now brings the feature to XZ Premium as said earlier. 3D creator feature can a create 3D avator or free form image in 60 secs after scanning the face or object. Audio quality has been improved to the front-facing speakers and aptX HD codec has added to wireless headphones.
As the update rollout is a phased process, some users may have to wait for a week to see the notification. The rollout dates may also vary, according to the region.
Update on 24/11/2017 :
After starting the rollout of Android Oreo with Xperia XZ Premium last month, Sony Mobile extended the update to Xperia XZ and XZs flagships. According to Xperia Blog, Xperia XZ and XZs devices receive the Oreo update with version number 41.3.a.0.401 and size of the update is about 1.2 GB.
The next device to receive the Oreo update might be Xperia X Performance after which Xperia X will receive the update. Probably in the next month, both devices will be treated with Oreo. The latest update doesn’t contain the most awaited 3D Creator but includes Xperia Actions and Remainders in addition to the standard Android Oreo features like Notification dots, Autofill.
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 XZ Premium and XZs flagships 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
1. Performance and Battery Life
Google made numerous performance improvements in Android Oreo. Due to the refinements, Xperia XZ Premium and XZs 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.
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 XZ Premium and XZs 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.
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 Xperia XZ Premium and XZs users might not see these changes due Sony’s custom UI.
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 Xperia XZ Premium and XZs 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. Xperia XZ Premium and XZs may also support the Project Treble but Sony 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 Xperia XZ Premium and XZs 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.
Update on 31/8/2017 :
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.
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.