Google unveils 'smarter, faster' Android 8.0 Oreo operating system

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Google has unveiled the next version of its Android mobile operating system, named Android 8.0 Oreo. 

The software, which will be available as a free update to users of smartphones including by Samsung, HTC and Huawei, has been labelled "smarter, faster and more powerful than ever" by Google.

A picture-in-picture mode will be introduced, enabling users to view two apps at the same time. 

New notification dots have also been added which will flag when an app has an alert waiting to be addressed. 

The name - 8.0 Oreo - follows Google's tradition of naming each new version of Android after "sweet treats", and follows 2016's 7.0 Nougat. 

Android's Sameer Samat said: "We are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform - and it's smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. 

"It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. 

"Plus, it's got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at light speed. When you're on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side."

Google said 8.0 Oreo will also feature a new instant apps feature that will enable users to access apps without having to download them, while security settings will automatically scan a user's device for malicious apps and remove them. 

The tech giant said battery life on Android smartphones should increase with Oreo, as the software will cut down on app activity in the background.

Google said the new software will begin rolling out to users "soon", and is likely to be joined by a new version of Google's Pixel smartphone, which is heavily rumoured to be launching in the autumn.