Android O Dev Team Hosts Reddit AMA

The development team for Android O recently hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit, and dove into all kinds of development questions regarding the newest version of Android. The staff answering questions during the AMA included a total of 22 Google developers with various specialties, all of whom are actively working on getting the next version of Android out the door. The question and answer session lasted from 12:00 PM PDT to 1:30 PM PDT, though interested parties were allowed to submit questions beforehand. By the end of the session, there were 545 unique comments, and the team manning the AMA had even had their picture taken for the Redditors asking them questions.

Some of the most burning questions that the average Android user may have were addressed here. One of the chief concerns was in how the team managed to improve battery life across devices with each release and how that would be achieved this time around with Android O. According to engineer Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, the team simply brainstormed places where improvements could be made to battery life, then implemented all possible changes. The issue of theming was a bit more abstract; while Alan Viverette of the Android O team did indicate that the team was working on implementing Sony's RRO engine, which powers apps like Layers and Substratum even without root on some devices, there were still some obstacles to full and satisfactory theme engine implementation, such as ensuring accessibility, and working out a way to guide changes to individual apps that aren't explicitly themed by hand.

Security was brought up in multiple places, but one of the more attention-grabbing questions elicited an answer that may excite root users and Android experts; when a user asked about SafetyNet and how much it inconveniences power users that like to root their devices for various reasons, Googler Xiaowen hinted that the team was looking into a solution that would be less of a hindrance to power users, while maintaining the security that app developers demanded, and keeping potentially compromised devices from running sensitive apps. Another Googler spoke on Project Treble, saying that users could expect all Android O devices to be Treble-compliant, and that this would speed along updates, increase security, and perhaps squash some bugs along the way. On the issue of custom, system-wide fonts, a Redditor was told that security was to blame; in order to implement a system-wide font, the font provider app would have to be granted system privileges. These important questions were some of the biggest in the AMA, but there were lots more answered on every aspect of development, so if you'd like to check out the full AMA, simply head through the source link.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]