HMD Global was touting that the 2017 branded Android Nokia mobile phones will be receiving Android OS and security patches extremely quickly, as of December they have delivered on this. They also said that the mobile phones will also be one of the first to receive Android Oreo, before the end of 2017 I might add. This is a mighty claim, many have tried and failed with many manufacturers like HTC and Samsung holding out on the Android updates due to software issues with their launchers and skins. The Nokia mobile phones run a stripped down and pure Android OS with no bloatware or skins; this should make the update process much quicker and smoother.
Last night I got a little notification that allowed me to download and install Android Oreo on my Nokia 8. There were rumours that this version of Android was in testing and would be ready sometime in December (no indication whether it would be at the start, at the end or somewhere in between). I applaud HMD Global in pushing out the update extremely quickly. HMD Global is only one part of the update puzzle however. Your mobile phone provider also has to ensure that the update still works on their network and does not completely render your mobile phone useless on their network.
Telstra has been notoriously slow with pushing these updates to consumer’s mobile phones (even if you bought the mobile phone outright and not through Telstra). You can go to their forums and support channels to see a number of posts with people complaining that Telstra is blocking mobile phone updates. This time Telstra has pushed the update out fast. Have they changed their tune and business practices regarding mobile phone updates? Perhaps, but it is too hard to tell. One Android update coming to your handset in a timely manner does not excuse or disregard the numerous other delayed or blocked updates.
After the update was installed I noticed really only a couple of differences compared to the previous version of Android; there are probably more but these are the ones that stood out to me straight away:
- Notifications Bar – now with white icons and the expanded notifications bar has a white background with dark icons.
- Battery Percentage Indicator – other launchers and skins already had this but now Android comes with this handy little feature right out of the box.
- Nightlight – another feature that required either a third party app like Twilight or a custom launcher. The ability to change the blue hue on your display based on the time of day now comes standard with Android Oreo.
- Picture in Picture – some apps have the ability and option to now work in “Picture in Picture” mode. You can easily browse the Internet while having YouTube running in a small window. Personally I have disabled this feature.
- Settings Cleaned – the entire Settings app has been cleaned up and made streamlined. There is no more confusion or ambiguity of where a particular setting sits. Well done Google.
Under the hood I imagine Google has made some improvements regarding battery life, optimization of the Android OS and other little improvements to make the Android experience that little bit more fluid, consistent and uniform. I use the Microsoft Launcher so I cannot comment on the default Google/Android launcher and if there has been any changes to that, but it most likely also has been improved like previous versions. So if you have a Nokia 8 (or potentially any other Nokia 2017 mobile phone) and you are on the Telstra mobile network then see if your device has an update.
Enjoy your new version of Android Oreo 😀