The first developer preview of Android P has been launched earlier this March and is now available to select Google Pixel devices. Google had been rumoured to be working on its new Android mobile software since the launch of iPhone X. It hasn’t even been a full year since the release of Oreo and Google has capitalised on its goal. If it ends up looking like iPhoneX’s controversial new “notch” at the top, well, it wouldn’t be much of a coincidence.
Check out the core features of Android P!
1. Improved notifications
One of the biggest changes to Android P will be to do more without having to open a full app. Now from notifications, Google will suggest smart replies, allow you to attach photos and stickers, and type your own replies. Google’s new “MessagingStyle” notification style isn’t a surprising change. Since given the fact that the company recently launched an initiative which allowed notifications for messaging apps to show smart replies.
2. Google Maps is coming to the indoors
To date, Google Maps has largely worked only for navigating outdoors and not for large indoor places like malls and commercial buildings. Now, an added support for “Wi-Fi Round Trip Time,” or RTT, allows for more specific positioning through Wi-Fi. Indoor navigating in places like malls is about to get a whole lot more precise.
3. Cut-out support
This is where it gets uncannily like an iPhone. Google is adding native support for those notches in Android P. This means that we’ll likely see a whole lot more devices with cut-outs once Android P hits the market. Apps will now interact much more smoothly with screen cut-outs.
To make Android a little more power efficient Google said it is refining systems like Doze. In addition to that Google has also added an image decoder for bitmaps, improved JobScheduler performance, and made tweaks to ART runtime. As a result, these changes should help all apps, in general, be a little more efficient. Hence, it’s safe to say that Android P will be a little lighter on battery.
5. Video and images
Google is adding support for HDR VP9 Profile 2 and HEIF. The same goes for a new Multi-Camera API for devices with dual rear-facing cameras or dual front-facing cameras.
AMPED UP SECURITY
- Encrypted app data traffic – Android P will default to enforcing HTTPS encrypted connections for all app traffic.
- Encrypted backups require a passcode on restore – Required once you restore your encrypted backup from the cloud. Without it, Google says neither you, Google itself nor anyone can access your data.
- No more sensor spying – Android P will notify you with a persistent notification that an app is using a device sensor.
- New, consistent fingerprint authentication – Android P will now provide a consistent popup whenever the operating system wants to authenticate the user with a fingerprint. Apps will be able to trigger the system’s fingerprint dialogue.
WHATS IN A NAME?
In the teaser video, we saw a picture of a Pineapple upside-down cake. Hence, it might be safe to assume that Google is looking for a P-related name to follow Android Oreo.
Google has given previous versions of Android names after desserts – Android 1.5 was Cupcake, Android 1.6 Donut, and Android 2.2 Éclair – and now recently, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 8.0 Oreo. A couple of them have even faced commercial tie-ups including the current version, Oreo.
WHEN CAN YOU GET YOUR HANDS ON THE BETA?
Android P is available now as a developer preview. At this year’s Google I/O developer conference, the public beta of Android P is expected to show up. The conference is scheduled to be held from 8 May to 10 May 2018 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. It’s a multi-day event where the developer community gathers every year. Along with all the software or updates Google plans to push out, the developers are brought up to speed with any new hardware that is being developed.
Android 8.0 Oreo dropped had in August 2017. Similarly, the Android P release date is hence expected to be summer 2018 and specifically August.