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Android O Dev Team Does AMA On Reddit
Jul 21, 2017

The team behind Android O did an AMA on Reddit, answering burning questions from the populace. The thread (hit the Source link) is well organized, so do check it out, but here are some highlights.

Project Trebble - phones that launch with Android O will have Trebble out of the box. This project makes it faster and easier for manufacturers to keep their devices updated by providing a clearer separation between hardware and the maker’s software. This should reduce the issues with canceled updates because the chipset maker didn’t update its drivers.

SafetyNet - if you haven’t heard of it, this is a Play Services feature that allows apps to detect if your phone is rooted or not (there’s more to it than this, but still). Google doesn’t enforce its usage, so it’s up to every app developer to decide for themselves – support rooted users or not?

Autofill - starting with O, there will be shared autofill functionality, which will reduce the need to type in the same information across multiple apps. The Google Autofill Provider is already used in Chrome and will soon be enabled in WebView (i.e. apps that use a web-based interface).

Blob emoji - One of the considerations to kill off the blobs is that emojis can be used as stickers in messengers and the team believes the blobs did not look good at a larger scale. Additions to Unicode “created new categories of emoji”, which apparently don’t mesh well with blobs either.

Themes - basic theming is already supported by Android, but it’s not capable enough to replace hard mods like TouchWize/Sense/MIUI. Even simple theming isn’t that easy, though, which is why we still don’t have a dark Material theme. Also, the team considered coloring the Nav bar same as the status bar, but decided against it.

Vulkan, F2FS - Both are features that the team is looking into, but both are not ready for prime time. Vulkan can’t replace OpenGL ES yet because it is not officially required to run Android. F2FS isn’t supported for the internal storage as it doesn’t support inline hardware encryption.

AOD on Pixel 2 - nope, the team did not answer any questions about the upcoming Pixel sequel.

Check out the Reddit thread for more.