Armed with Android Oreo, Google takes aim at bloatware

Google has added a list of new features to Android Oreo to limit the presence of bloatware in the market.

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Android was originally designed to provide developers with a highly customisable computing experience. But eventually, it became a ground for bloatware that limits not just the user experience but also the hardware performance and occupies plenty of storage space. However, almost a decade after its debut in 2007, Google has now brought a new Android version to limit bloatware.

The latest release, called Android Oreo, comes with a list of features that make smart devices smarter and easily adaptable for novices. At the same time, there are certain enhancements for developers and hardware partners to customise the experience -- without adding any software bloat on top.

While the early releases of Android devices were free from bloatware, the term surfaced online at a mass level sometime around 2010 when Android started becoming a popular platform against Apple's iOS and taking on Microsoft's Windows Phone. In the beginning, some telecom operators pre-installed their apps on carrier-locked handsets. But the situation got worst with the bulk of bloat from device manufacturers. Leading players, including Asus, Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi, all leveraged the advantage of tweaking the platform by adding their custom skin on top. All that adversely affected the user experience.

Also read: From 'Cupcake' to 'Oreo': Here's a rundown on Android's naming strategy

The hardware vendors initially customised the interface to give users a breeze in accessing core Android services. But recently, some major handset makers even added third-party apps -- just for the sake of improving pure Android and fulfilling user requirements. Google has apparently monitored the situation intrinsically and has ultimately designed the new Android version with all the necessary features to avoid the necessity of any bloatware.

Smartly limits apps in background

The very first change that Android 8.0 Oreo includes to curb bloatware deployments is background limits. The operating system is natively designed with limits that restrict background location and Wi-Fi scans. This changes the behaviour of apps run in the background and enhances battery and memory performance. Overall, the newest feature is a default function to replace existing task killing apps that often come pre-installed on Android devices.

Enhanced multitasking

Android is renowned for its advanced multitasking features. But companies like Samsung and Xiaomi try to make the default experience distinct in the market by adding their customisations. Android Oreo has answered all those third-party customisations with a new 'Picture-in-Picture' feature. This lets you manage two tasks simultaneously by reducing the size of one window. The list of supported apps for the new addition is likely to be limited for some time, but it would gradually cover all the popular apps.

Interface intensifications

In addition to the major system-level changes, Google has brought some notable enhancements on the interface front to provide Android Oreo bloat-free. The first interface-level addition to the new Android version is the notification dots feature that is similar to what you have previously seen on custom ROMs by Asus, OnePlus and Xiaomi. It highlights those app icons on your screen that are received a notification in your absence. The platform also has the ability to change the color of the dots on the basis of app icons and even change the notification card color to match the album art of the track that you're playing on the device.

The new Android update additionally has features like adaptive icons, XML font support and an autosizingtextview option. All these are the capabilities to let manufacturers customise the experience on their devices without using any bloatware. Similarly, there are several system performance improvements and runtime optimisations to deliver a flawless experience in the absence of a software bloat.

All in all, the fresh Android version passively extends the Open Handset Alliance that Google and 34 members established back in November 2007 to promote uniformity in the Android world.