On 8th May 2018, at the Google I/O Google announced the release of Android P and is released as a beta for developers. The public release for the same is scheduled for this fall. Google gave us the sneak peek of its latest smartphone operating system. While we still don’t know, what is the official name of Android P yet.
On 6th June 2018, Google announced the release of Android P: Beta 2 with various new features for the developers to try out.
On 2nd July 2018, Google announced the release of Android P: Beta 3. Which is meant to look like the final beta version of the new Android OS scheduled to release in the month of September. Google Engineer, said about this release that “it takes us very close to what you are going to see in the final version of Android P”. However, we do know about all the new features it has.
Here all the new features in Android P given below:
Changes in the Navigation Bar
One of the biggest changes you will notice in Android P is the changes to the navigation bar. In previous versions of Android, it was three layout. Now in Android P, it allows you to use the home button for accessing recent apps. With the newly updated home gesture, you will see the home button being replaced by a small pill like icon at the bottom of the screen. You can swipe up to access recent apps or see all the open apps. It will also work as a slider to help you with navigation.
If you have decided to use the latest Navigation Bar with home gestures, you will notice that the Overview icon will no longer be seen. Moreover, you will also notice that the Clear All icon is also missing with this new Navigation Bar. However, it will return in the future updates.
The new Navigation Bar in Android P allows more customizations. You can also change the background and color of the Navigation Bar. In addition, in the future updates, you will also have the ability to add custom widgets in the Navigation Bar.
Android Dashboard is the new feature in Android P which helps in tracking the amount of time you spend on your smartphone. With Android Dashboard, you can see how long you are using the smartphone to stream content, send messages, make calls or surf the internet.
With certain apps like YouTube, you can receive the recommendations to take a screen break. You are also allowed to set screen time limits for a certain number of apps
Wind Down Mode
Wind Down Time is another new feature in Android P which is introduced for digital well-being. With Wind Down Mode, you can tell the Google Assistant when you would like to go to bed, and it automatically puts your smartphone on Do Not Disturb mode and switches your smartphone screen to grayscale.
Adaptive Brightness in Android P uses artificial intelligence to determine your ideal preferred Brightness Settings. Once the AI understands your preferences, it can then make important changes depending the on the lighting conditions.
More Improved Notifications
One of the biggest changes which will be seen by most of the users is in the form of improved notifications. Specifically, Google wants the notifications to be more useful- meaning that you will be able to do more with your notifications without any need to open the app. Now for the notifications, Google will suggest smart replies, allows attachments of photos, stickers and type your own replies. All these features come with the new Google new notification style known as “MessagingStyle”. However, still, users will feel that it is not a big change as Google previously launched smart replies for notifications in Android Oreo.
Same as widgets, Slice allows app developers to their API within Android to create context-based suggestions based on the usage of the app. For instance, if you search for Uber, an option will appear allowing you to book your cab without any need to open the app.
Last year, with Android Oreo Google, started using artificial intelligence on the basis of different criteria. This year, in Android P enhancing Android P by adding another new feature called App Actions. With App Actions, your smartphone will use AI not only to select apps but to make context-based suggestions based on their usage.
While ML kit is not specifically related to Android, it is a new feature which makes Android P even more user-friendly. With ML Kit, app developers can utilize Google Machine Learning tasks within their own apps. Moreover, it allows developers to use the camera for facial recognition, text recognition, location recognition, and various other recognition features.
New Way to Avoid Accidental Screen Rotations
With Android currently offering an option for screen orientation lock, it can be very annoying when you are switching between apps. In Android P it offers new ways to prevent accidental screen rotations.
With Android P, you can pin screen to a specific orientation. If you want to change the orientation, you need to simply tap an icon which is right to the Recent Apps icon.
Android P also introduced a new set of gestures. Some of the new gestures include holding Volume button and Power button to prevent ringing, swiping up the Home button to see all your recent apps. The option for silencing your smartphone by turning it over was available for few Android devices is now integrated into Android P.
Indoor Google Maps
Google Maps is one of the beloved and most used app for navigation, but till now Google has only worked on driving or walking outside and not for indoor places like malls. However, it is about to change. A new feature in Android P provides added support for RTT(WiFi Round Trip Time) which allows more specific positioning using WiFi. All that is done, to say, indoor places like shopping malls is about to get a lot more accurate.
Multiple Camera Support
Last year, some of the smartphone OEMs like Nokia introduced the new feature called dual-sight for some of its smartphone lineups. With Dual-Sight, you can use both the camera lenses on your smartphone to capture photos. Android P is going to provide similar feature widely to most of the Android smartphones.
Android P has allowed access to developers for accessing both the camera lenses together. Therefore, it will be easy for developers to allow such feature in their apps.
Improved Battery Life
With every new Android version there a new promised battery life improvements. From refining the dose to changing the way you open apps on your smartphone, Google has made a lot of changes in Android P to maximize battery life.
In addition to improved changes, Android P also has a battery saver app. It makes it easier for you to enable Battery Saver once your battery starts to drain. Instead of choosing the Battery Saver option to enable at 5 to 15 percent battery life, Android P has a slider, which allows you to enable Battery Saver once the smartphone battery reaches 70 percent or below.
In addition, you will find Adaptive Battery in Android P. It learns how you use apps and will restrict the battery usage of the apps you are not using frequently.
‘Clear All’ Button is Back
Google said back during the release of Android P: Beta 1 that it will bring back the ‘Clear All’ button in the future betas. And they delivered. In Android P: Beta 2 developers can find ‘Clear All’ button in the horizontal recents menu on the left-most side.
In Android P: Beta 2 you can see a slight little change to the app background in the screenshot given above. When you are sliding up to app drawer, the background is much more visible. It gives you the feedback whenever you are sliding on the app drawer.
Moreover, you can now open the app drawer from any screen and application just by a single long swipe. This was not possible in the previous betas because you had to swipe twice to open the app drawer.
If you want to try the Android P beta, you will need to have the following supported smartphone devices:
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Essential Phone
- Oppo R15 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
In the next coming weeks the Android P: Beta 3 would be released for devices mentioned above and those who are using Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can try this beta now. While it is easy to try and download latest Android P beta with latest features. It is strongly recommended not to install the beta in your main smartphone. Android P is currently in beta and there is going to be problems and missing features right now. If you decide to install it and then switch back to Android Oreo you are going to lose your data and need the hard drive to recover the data. In addition, you should be careful before trying this Android P data on your primary smartphone. Therefore, if you want to test your existing Android apps on Android P beta you should hire Android app developers for the same.
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