Android Oreo is only available currently on an infinitesimal number of phones. Apart from a series of under-the-hood improvements, the update also brings a few frontend changes. However, most of these are either buried deep in the settings or require some tweaks before you can access them. Hence, in this article, we discuss a few of such Android Oreo tips and tricks you should be knowing.
1. Hide the “App is Running in the Background” Persistent Notification
With the 8.0 release, Google has doubled down on apps which constantly run in the background. To make sure, there are not any abrupt and random behaviors; Android clearly displays a persistent notification if any app is consuming data or memory in the background. You might have noticed this, for instance, while using WhatsApp Web. However, the notification has a persistent nature which can be annoying if you are constantly swamped by alerts. Fortunately, you can hide this with a simple trick. All you need to do is download this free app and fire it up once. That’s it.
2. ARCore Framework
Can’t wait to try out Google’s new Augmented Reality platform — ARCore? Sideload this framework on your phone and install any compatible AR app to get started. The APK essentially enables an ARCore module, currently which is limited to developers. The number of supported apps, however, is quite limited right now as developers have not begun uploading theirs on the Play Store. This is one of the available free apps you can download as of now.
3. Where’s the Memory Setting?
Google has organized a range of settings with Android Oreo. The most prominent reason behind this is that the company wants to ensure the operating system doesn’t seem like designed only for enthusiasts. In the process, Google has also removed the memory option from the main list. Instead, it’s now located under developer options. In case you haven’t enabled those, head to the about page, look for the build number and tap it a couple of times until you see a toast that says ‘You’re not a developer’.
4. Icon Shapes
Google added support for adaptive icons on Oreo. What this means is that you can natively choose from a range of shapes for the icons on your phone. Of course, the respective developer needs to have updated its app for allowing this. The option is available on the default Pixel launcher. Just hold down on an empty space on the home screen, hit settings and tap ‘change icon shape’.
In case the developer is being stubborn about updating his/her app, you can try out ‘Adapticons’ for quickly creating an icon of your dreams.
5. Disable Background Data Use for an App
Android Oreo also allows you to specifically block an app for consuming mobile data in the background. The option is present under settings, ‘apps and notifications’, ‘App Info’ and then, the app you’d like to disable the access for. There, tap “Data Usage” and turn off the ‘Background Data’ switch. This is one of our favorite Android Oreo tips!
6. Custom Ringtone
Google has made the process of adding a custom ringtone surprisingly quick and painful with Oreo as well. Whenever you’re a selecting a new ringtone for calls or alarms, you’ll see an option called ‘Add New’. Tap that and select the audio file from the local storage.
7. Notification Channels
One of my personal favorite features on Android Oreo is ‘Notification Channels’. It lets you cut off a particular set of notifications from an app. For instance, you can block cricket updates from the Google app and still receive weather ones. Most of the mainstream apps have been updated already to support this functionality.
For disabling a notification channel, you can either hold-down on the alert whenever it arrives or manually checks it off in the settings. The latter method requires you to head into the app’s Android settings, then notifications. There, you’ll find a list of all the active channels.
8. Rootless Themes
Thanks to the good folks at Substratum, you can install themes on stock Android without root access. The process requires two apps – the main theme engine and an add-on called ‘Andromeda’ which costs INR 130. Once installed, the apps will guide you through the setup which also requires a computer. The solution is not perfect right now, and you have to go through the initialization process again if you restart the phone. But it works. I usually apply a pitch black theme, here’s the Play Store link for the same.
9. Adjust Brightness Using Gestures
Google added an API with Oreo that allows third-party developers to make use of stock Android’s fingerprint gestures. As a result, there’s now a free app available that lets you control the brightness by simply swiping on the sensor. It’s called DigiLux and you can download it from here.
Those were some of the lesser-known Android Oreo tips and tricks. Let us know if we missed a good one in the comments section down below.