Google was earlier expected to release the first-ever Android P developer preview in the mid-March. Today, the company has made the first Android P developer preview available for the Google Pixel smartphones (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL). For the first time, the whole Nexus line up will not be part of the devices to get the early access to new Android developer preview. We also cant confirm that all the below mentioned features will be available in the final release.
Google will be publicly talking about the new features of Android P during the I/O 2018 scheduled to kickoff on May 8th. Even the Android P public beta will be only available after the Google I/O 2018 ends.
Android P Release Date & Official Name
Currently, only the Android P developer preview is available for the Pixel devices. By the time Google I/O 2018 ends on May 10th, we should get the timeline for Android P leaving developer preview mode and entering the public beta stage. However, the final release will only happen in Q3 2018, and we will also see the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL launch during the same period. Even the official name of the Android P will be revealed during its final release. As of now, there are high chances that the Android P will be named as Android Peppermint. (What do you think the Android P should be named after? Share your options in the comments section below.)
Native Support for Display Notch
With the iPhone X that came with a huge notch on the top of the display, Apple changed how the iOS the users interact with their devices. Talking about the Android devices, we have already seen several smartphones starting with Essential Phone featuring display notch. More than half a year after the existence of display notch on Android devices, Google now officially confirmed to support it. With the display cutout support, the device with display notch running on Android P can adjust the height of the status bar to separate the content from the cutout on the top. The users can also go for the full-screen view, but we feel it won’t give an immersive experience.
Improved Messaging Notifications
Google constantly improves how the notifications are shown in the notification panel. With the Android P, we will be seeing totally revamped messaging notifications. Instead of only showing the unread messages, the device will now show multiple messages in the same conversation. Also, the smart replies from the Google’s reply app will be built into the OS. From the screenshots, we can also see messages including photos & stickers are directly shown in the notification panel. As seen on every major Android update, the quick settings will also undergo little alteration on the new Android P.
Password Autofill is one of the best features we have seen on Android Oreo. However, it is still far from perfect and I found it annoying quite a few times. With the Android P, Google promised to improve the Autofill Framework. With the new update, Google will be offering bugfixes along with new APIs to improve the user experience.
Accurate Indoor Positioning
Google brings the native support for the IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol called Wi-Fi RTT (Round-Trip-Time) on Android P powered devices. With the Wi-Fi RTT, the apps can get accurate indoor positioning without the need of GPS. However, the devices also need come equipped with specific hardware to support Wi-Fi RTT. The apps with RTT APIs can get the indoor positioning by connecting to the nearby Wi-Fi Access Points. The app can get the accuracy of 1 to 2 meters by connecting to at least three Wi-Fi Access Points. Let’s wait and see how apps can take advantage of this new feature.
With the Android P, Google will be restricting the use of sensors, cameras, and mix when the app goes idle. If the apps try to use any of them, they will be notified with an error message. Google also urges all the existing app developers to make changes reflecting the new guidelines. The Android backups on Android P will be encrypted by default, but this is not part of the first Android P developer preview.
Apart from these, we also saw few other new features making their way to Android ecosystem with Android P. Apple has started using HEIF image compression with the iOS 11. And now Google is doing the same with the Android P. Talking about the video encoding; the new Android update also brings HDR VP9 support for playing HDR content from the internet on supported devices.
Dave Burke, VP of Engineering for Android, also mentioned about improvements made to enhance the security, privacy, power efficiency, and more. Stay tuned on Phone Radar for more details about the all-new Android P.