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Google officially announces Android P


Google officially announces Android P

Google officially unveiled their newest version of Android during the company's I/O 2018 developer conference. Android P brings the biggest redesign to the platform to date with features that focus on a brand new gesture-based interface, similar to what Apple has implemented on the iPhone X.

Eventually the codename 'P' will be replaced with a dessert name like Peppermint, Popsicle or Pecan Pie, but for now the update will continue to be known as Android P and we have a lot to unpack

Gesture Based User Interface

Google has introduced a brand new way to navigate through your Android P device using gestures. Apple's iPhone X users however wont see much difference here from Apple's own implementation on their flagship device.



The home button has been reduced to a tiny pill that sits in the bottom of your display, which you can interact with to perform various actions. Tapping on the pill and swiping up will pull up the multi-tasking menu, from where you can scroll through all the apps you have opened. Swiping up again will open the app drawer. You can tap on the home pill again to return to your homescreen.

A dedicated back button will appear for navigational purposes when needed

Digital Wellbeing

Are you worried you spend too much time on your device ? Google has found that more than 70% of their users want to help manage their digital on-device time better, and want to address this with Android P.


With this new unified dashboard, Android P users will be able to see how much time they've spent on their phones every day. It will show you the number of times you have picked up your phone, and the time you've spent on various apps. Digital Wellbeing on Android P will let you set time limits on apps, and will nudge you when you reach that limit.


'Shush' is another enhancement on Android P, which lets you take a break from the constant flow of notifications. You can activate this feature by simply turning the screen facing down, putting your device into Do Not Disturb Mode. Interestingly, this was a popular feature on early Windows Phone devices from Nokia.

Android P is also introducing a 'Wind Down' mode, which is great for people who get constantly disturbed by their phones when they are sleeping. Users will have to set a 'Wind Down' hour, at which the phone will automatically switch into night mode with a gray scale display, which is less stimulating for the brain. Google claims that this small adjustment can help keep you away from distractions before bedtime.

Android Intelligence

With the new Android Intelligence features on Android P,  Google plans to let you get the most out of our smartphone.

Adaptive Battery

The Adaptive Battery feature on Android P will allow on-device machine learning to understand your app usage patterns, predicting the apps you use daily and those you dont use as regularly. This information will remain private as it occurs within your device itself, but it will allow your Android device to adapt to your use.



In practical tests at Google, this resulted in 30% reduction in CPU wake-ups, which in turns reduces CPU processing and increases battery life drastically.

Adaptive Brightness

With Android P, Google is introducing a new form of auto-brightness, it calls Adaptive Brightness. Unlike regular auto-brightness which adjusts your screen brightness based on your surroundings, the user will be able to manually adjust the level of brightness to suite their preference. Android will learn from these preferences and offer your personal preference in future.

Actions

Last year, Android featured predictive apps, which showed the top five most used apps on the top of your app launcher. With Android P, the team is introducing a feature calls App Actions. These will be predicted based on usage patterns of what you do most on your phone.


For example, your device may prompt you to play music when you connect your headphones, or suggest you get back to your e-Book when you are on your morning commute.

Slices

Google is introducing a new Slice API, which will give direct access to key app features from the operating system or from search (in Android P, this feature will only be available in search, but expect it to expand in future releases).


In the example above, Lyft is using the Slice API to render a slice of their app in the context of search, allowing you to directly hail a cab from your Google search without having to open the Lyft app.

MLKit

MLKit (short for machine learning kit) is a new set of on-device APIs that is cross-platform and will work with both Android and iOS. It gives developers ready to use models for things like face recognition, barcode scanning, image labeling, smart reply, landmark detection and so on.

Simplicity

Google has also introduced several smaller features and improvements that will enhance the overall experience for users on Android P.

  • Volume Controls - It is now easier to adjust media volumes without having to deal with the complicated sound controls you are familiar with on Android. Simply pressing the volume up/down buttons will adjust the media volume by default. There will be a separate button for those wanting to adjust ringtone volume or switch between silent and vibrate mode. These sliders will no longer be at the top out of reach, and instead more accessible on the right side of the phone.
  • Rotation Confirmation - Screen rotation is getting a huge functionality boost with one very simple change. On Android P, when you rotate a device, you will automatically be shown a button that can be pressed to rotate the screen correspondingly. This will help manage those annoying auto rotations.
  • Notifications
  • Work Profiles
  • Quick Settings
  • Better Screenshots
  • Crash Dialogs
  • Status Bar

Release and Availability

The Developer Preview of Android P was first announced in March, followed by the Public Beta which is now available (May 8) following Google I/O 2018. This should put the public release of Android P for mid-to late-August with manufacturers following up with their own releases in the months to come

How to get Android P Now

We are putting together a guide on how to install the public beta of Android P on your device right now. You will have to first enroll for the Android Beta Program and have one of the following devices in order to install the first public beta of Android P





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