Samsung has pushed the highly anticipated Android 8.0 Oreo updates to its one-year-old flagships-- the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, almost exactly when the Galaxy S9 and S9+ hits store shelves. The new update brings several really useful features that could still renew life in your one-year-old device. So we’re going to give you an overview of all the big, new features available in this software update. I do want to first thank Squarespace for sponsoring this video.
With the Android Oreo update, Google has fixed several bugs and patched several security holes. Android Oreo also does a better job limiting background activity in the apps that you use the least, providing better device performance. So you should notice a slight performance boost after installing this update.
One of my favorite features is autofill. Google will remember your logins and passwords so you can quickly sign into your favorite apps. I switched phones a lot so I’m constantly installing new apps so this feature alone has saved me a ton of time.
App notification dots will appear next to apps that have updates. If you notice a blue dot next to an app, it’s because you have a notification for that app. And if you long press on an app, there might be some even more shortcuts for you to quickly access exactly whatever it is that you’re looking for.
Picture-in-picture mode is available for select applications. If you’re watching a YouTube video for example, you can press home and it will be minimized so you can watch the video while you’re checking your Twitter feed. It also works in Google Maps so if you’re navigating somewhere but you need to check on a text message to see exactly where that party is at, you don’t have to close out Maps entirely.
A feature that was available in the Note 8 is available here. You can create an app pair via the screen edge feature. As the name implies, you select any two apps to open up simultaneously together. Once you find/make a pair, you can even create a shortcut for this function on the home screen for even easier access.
Dual Messenger lets you use two accounts on the same chat app. For example, you can use two WhatsApp, Facebook, or Snapchat accounts on the same phone without having to sign in and out. How cool is that? There are high contrast keyboard options available, now making the keys easier to see, and also providing more customization than what was previously available.
If you’re making a phone call, the mute and keypad icons have been swapped to help prevent accidentally hitting mute during a call. I’m sure some of you have accidentally done that. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be a feature.
Last but not least, smart text selection will detect what text you have selected and provide shortcuts for you to act on that text. For example, if you highlight an address, it’ll provide you with a shortcut to open up Google Maps. This works with phone numbers and the dialer app as well.
There are some new emojis, some improved security scanning via the Google Play Store, and other features considered to be more minor. I can’t comment on battery life improvements because I haven’t tested this phone in detail. But battery life is supposed to be improved with the new performance management features made available in Oreo. If you update to Oreo on your Galaxy S8, or Galaxy S8+ in my case, let me know how you like it.
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