Proximity Sensor Is Turning Off Ambient Display In Android O

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The proximity sensor of an Android device is capable of turning off the Ambient Display as of Android O, one user running the latest developer preview of the operating system has uncovered. It’s currently unclear when the Mountain View-based tech giant decided to introduce the feature, though it certainly wasn’t available in the first developer preview of Android O and may have been rolled out as a server-side update in the last few days. While Google has yet to detail the newly debuted functionality, the reasoning behind it is seemingly clear, as allowing proximity sensor to turn off the Ambient Display of your device will prevent the display from accidentally unlocking the handset when it’s being placed in a pocket. Android already limited the functionality of this feature using the proximity sensor given how Ambient Display wouldn’t turn on even if the phone mistakenly “detects” that it’s being picked up while being in a pocket, but the newly introduced Android O feature completely turns off the display as soon as the sensor is covered.

The functionality itself isn’t entirely new and a similar feature has been added by Samsung to its Galaxy devices in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, though it seems that all Android-powered handsets running Android O will be able to utilize it in the future. Some users running the latest developer preview of Android O are also reporting that they’ve started seeing a more streamlined, minimalist user experience that isn’t showing as much information as the old one, though the feature seemingly still isn’t live in all territories.

Android O introduces a wide variety of new changes and performance tweaks that are meant to improve the overall user experience of Google’s operating system. Among other things, the new OS ships with a Picture-in-Picture mode, a redesigned battery management tool, and the ability to categorize notifications using Notification Channels. Compared to Nougat, the upcoming variant of Android won’t be too visually different, with Google mostly focusing on backend improvements. More details on Android O are expected to be available shortly seeing how the build is scheduled to hit the stable channel in the coming months.