Google's I/O developer conference is still two months away, however, news about Android O (or Oreo) has begun to surface online. According to Venture Beat, Google will be adding plenty of features, but will still be playing catch up with iOS in some areas like artificial intelligence (AI).
The report that comes from a source familiar with the matter, sheds light on three new software features that are expected to arrive with the Android O update, the next milestone update from Google for its mobile devices. Just like iOS announced with iOS 10, some of these features are to do with certain functions and native apps that build on AI are supposed to save time.
The first is called Copy Less, and will reportedly give your Android phone the ability to automatically detect the relevant information you would want to copy from a source when you're sending a text or an email.
So you are chatting up with a friend in an instant messaging app, and you felt the need to find a restaurant. You then switch apps and go to the browser or restaurant finder app and research there and finally hover over a page before leaving the app and switching back to the chat app to tell your friend about the meeting point.
What you normally would do is copy the details from your find and then switch back to the chat app and paste them there. With Copy Less, Google already knows what you were searching for. So you switch back to the chat app and then type in "it's at" and you automatically get suggestions in the virtual keyboard with recently searched restaurants or establishments. Just tap to paste without the need to copy or add anything to the clipboard.
It isn't clear whether Copy Less would only work with GBoard only or would be system-wide.
The second rumored feature would come straight from Apple's playbook. It is a simple feature that has been present in iOS for long. It has to do with certain types of text or messages sent in messaging apps. In short, Android O will be able to tell between plain chatter, addresses, links and more. So if someone sends you an address, tapping on it will automatically open up the Google Maps application with the right coordinates on display.
The third feature that is expected to arrive as a native feature in gesture recognition. Yes, like on many Android smartphones by manufacturers like Huawei, LG, users of Android O will be able to launch apps by drawing gestures on the screen. It isn't clear whether this feature would work with displays that are powered down, or over and running applications for now.