Google released the first developer preview of its next generation mobile OS Android P. This next version of Android is not aim for consumer consumption as it is an earlier build of the OS but Developers can download them to last year’s Google Pixel devices and the latest Google Pixel 2’s to get an early glimpse on the OS and experience the new features that Android P would bring to Android devices, thus it encourages developers to develop and support the new features from the OS for their future software and hardware releases.
Feature-wise, the new Android P carries the best features from Oreo including a refreshed UI, last year, Google refined and updated Android’s long-standing UI elements, with the new version of Android, Google further developed and improved its UI.
The Notification shade has some of the new visuals but the new focus here is how it handles messages within the Notification shade. MessagingStyle notification style takes messaging into a new level. Users can directly interact with messages that they’d received and it doesn’t only show texts this time, it also supports multi-line of messages including support for photo attachments. Other than text replies, It also allow users to reply using photos, stickers and even suggest smart replies.
With the advent of the display notch or the cutout within the displays of mobile devices, more and more manufacturers are jumping into the trend and as an OS developer, Google had to adapt on what’s on the market. With Android P, the display notch is officially supported on Android with its Display cutout support. Apps can take full advantage of the latest display technologies with full screen contents. There’s also a new API that will manage how contents are displayed on the screen.
Another feature that has been requested for many times is added indoor geo-positioning support. With Android P, Google adds support for IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol – also known as WiFi Round-Trip-Time (RTT).
Together with hardware support, developers can use RTT API on their apps to measure the distance to nearby WiFi Access Points (APs) and to ensure security and privacy, only the phone will be able to measure the display and not the APs.
Apart from these prominent additions to Android’s future. The OS also adds support for HDR VP9 Video, HEIF image compression, and associated Media APIs to support viewing video contents from YouTube, Play Movies that are HDR quality formats. HEIF support enables better image compression with improved image quality output.
Other features that will be included or are improved in Android P is updated Neural API that has been with Android 8.1. Google also improves its AutoFill framework, better security features on apps and improved privacy features for users.
The new Android P OS won’t be reaching customers until later this year and while they are in developers hands, features and bug fixes are surely if not entirely will be ironed out before the public gets a taste of Android P. Moreover, Google haven’t revealed what “P” stands for and will be the subject of debate for the next few month.
What do you think the “P’ stands in Android P? let us know your thoughts about it.