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Android P developer preview 1: What's new in the latest Android flavor?

15 March 2018 5

Google's latest Android OS version Android Oreo 8.0 was announced last year and now almost all latest smartphones are pre-installed with the latest version of Android OS. Still, a huge number of Android smartphones yet not received the latest flavor of Android OS but we can expect the Android Oreo proportion will improve in coming months a number of companies are planning to roll out the update in coming months. After the Q1 2018, now all eyes are on what's next from the Mountain View giant.

Google recently confirmed the next Android OS update will be dubbed as Android P until the company officially disclose its name later this year. Google also released the first developer preview version of Android P which provides few details regarding what Google is cooking inside for the next major Android OS update. The new developer preview didn't bring all new upcoming features but it certainly gives a good idea of what's coming next. We can expect Google will bring more features in upcoming developers preview versions ahead of final update release.

Today we will briefly describe what kind of new features Android P first preview is bringing and also few more details regarding the upcoming features and final update release. Without any further delay, let's start with the new features introduced with Android P.

Improved notifications

One of the most important and prominent changes in the Android P is indeed a new notification system which is significantly improved from the earlier versions. With each new version, Google is trying to bring a better solution to interact with notifications without opening the app. For instance, with the Android Nougat, Google brought new feature which allows the user to reply messages without opening the messaging app.

After the Android P, the users will be able to handle notifications much better without opening the app. Google recently introduced “MessagingStyle” notification system which brings more freedom to users allowing them attaching photos, smart reply and much more. Google recently kicked off "Reply" a better system to reply instantly.

Google Maps indoors RTT feature

Undoubtedly the Google Maps is the most used and reliable navigation application available but so far it provides navigation only for outside. With the latest Android P, Google is bringing navigation feature for indoors as well. Before Android P, Google Maps only provides info regarding the shopping mall, now after the latest update, you can expect info regarding indoor stores as well. For instance, now you know the exact location of the cinema/ food court in the mall.

Google introduced new feature as "Round Trip Time" which will allow users to find the accurate position using WI-FI that's indeed a great feature which will improve Google Maps capability to point out indoor places more accurately.

Notch design support

From the look of the things, it seems like there will be a number of new Android-running smartphones with small notch design on top pretty much similar to iPhone X. To provide a better software support for notch design, Google is bringing native support for notch design with the latest Android P. With the native support for the notch, we can expect future apps will interact better with the smooth user interface. Also, there is a vertical transition between apps much like iOS to support transition without the button. This also means more portion of the display will be utilized without screen cut due to the notch.

Battery life

Another key aspect which Google is paying special attention from last few years is the battery life of the smartphone running on Android OS. The Android P will further enhance the battery life. Google introduced Doze battery saving feature with the Android Marshmallow when they kicked off material design, with the latest update Google confirms they are refining the Doze to make more efficient battery saving system.

Better security

One of the key concern of most of the users is indeed the security problems. Google bought a new system recently by rolling out new security patches on monthly basis. The Android P will further improve the security of Android OS. The future apps will be based on TLS encryption to avoid risks related to apps security. We can expect Google will further elaborate the security features in next developer preview versions.

Improved privacy

Google is, unfortunately, one of those companies whose track record is not pretty great as far as user's privacy is a concern. The Android Nougat and the Oreo update was indeed a milestone when Google bound developers to ask users regarding access to the camera, phonebook, dialer, microphone and other sensors. With the latest Android P update, Google will restrict apps to access the camera and other sensors when they are not used, this certainly will help Google to improve user's privacy.

Under the hood

There are few features which Google will bake in Android P under the hood. The new Android P will bring an image decoder, HDR VP9 compression support as well as for HEIF image. To improve apps performance, Google will bring few tweaks to improve ART runtime. So far these the new features of the latest Android P, now let's have a look those features which aren't released yet but there are chances Google will roll out them in upcoming developer preview versions.

Expected new features

One of the new feature expected to roll out later will be a warning tone if users call is being recorded. This feature won't be activated by default instead it will be activated by network carriers. At the moment it is still in the dark whether this feature will apply to third-party apps or calls from service providers.

Google Assistant is also expected to get few more refinements to better assist users. We can expect the final version of Android P will have a prominent share of Google Assistant, it could be added to the home screen as well. Google might allow third-party apps to access Assistant's voice feature to perform tasks. It is still in the dark whether these features will be available when the final version will be rolled out or not. As nothing is from the official sources as far as new features are a concern that's why we will recommend to take it with a grain of salt

Android P Naming

Google Android OS updates are named after desserts and sweets so it won't be surprising if the Android P is named after any sweet. Google named the last major update as Android Oreo, the Android 7.0 was released as Nougat, the Android 6.0 was the Marshmallow flavor. As far as Android P is a concern, we heard Google is internally calling this update as Pistachio Ice cream but that's mean it will be its final name. In past, we have seen Google finalize names at very last minute so we have to wait further until Google ask for suggestion before rolling the final version. The Android P logo also didn't reveal any details regarding the naming.

Android P announcement

Google usually reveals more details regarding the next major Android OS updates at the yearly I/O event, that's why we can expect Google will give more details regarding the Android P on May 8 this year at the first-day keynote of I/O 2018. As far as the final release of Android P is a concern, we can't confirm when the final version will be out. Usually, Google releases the final version in September or October around the same time when they are getting ready to launch new Pixel phones. The non-Google device owners will have to wait even longer to taste the latest Android OS flavor.

In the end, we would like to recommend if you want to install first developer preview of Android P choose a device which is not your daily driver. As being in developer preview there will be a number of bugs so it's better not to install on the daily driver device. Feel free to share your views regarding the Android P first developer preview in the comments section below. Stay tuned, we will keep you updated


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Android P developer preview 1: What's new in the latest Android flavor?
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