Google has recently released a Developer Preview for Android P, and this is the ninth version of the most popular operating system. Again, this developer preview gives a small demo regarding the next version of Android.
This version, as the name suggests, is exclusively for developers, but can be also downloaded on Pixel and Pixel 2 devices. To this, Google VP of Engineering Dave Burke added in a that this is “an early baseline build for developers only”, so it is advisable to not flash it on the daily drivers.
Based on the features that are there on the developer preview, it’s clear now, that Android is encroaching upon very close on iPhone territory. For instance, there is a built-in support for a notch in the display, or as Google describes it as, “display cutout support”. In fact, there is also a way to simulate a notch on a normal full-screen display.
Another visual change is a tweaked design of the Quick Settings panels with the notification drawer in rounded corners. The Quick Settings and Notifications Shade have seen a majority of the changes over previous versions, and it’s likely there would be other facial changes also over the next previews.
Google’s Smart Replies can now be leveraged by other apps and replying from inside the notification would be now benefited by including recent lines. Also, autofill has been improved to handle the passwords better.
Other than the above visual changes, other changes and improvements are also expected in ART performance as well as apps written in Kotlin. Additionally, users would also see a warning message while installing apps made for versions before Android 4.2. Google would also put away those apps that are not in 64-bit and doesn’t target at least Android Oreo until November.
With this, users should be also made aware that Android P would restrict access to the camera, microphone and other sensors from apps that are idle. So if the app is not active and is in the background, it won’t be able to use the camera or the mic.
Their app also provides support for HEIF and HDR VP9 Profile 2 image and video codecs, which once again brings Android and iOS on the same line.
A multi-camera API would also allow the apps to use dual cameras with more granular control. In fact, Wi-Fi can now be used for indoor positioning more accurately.
Most of these undercover features would be pushed out via Project Treble for other OEMs to implement. However, considering the state in which Project Treble seems to be in, most of these features might take longer than it should.
Once again, it needs to be remembered that this version is for developers only and not intended for daily or consumer use. Only Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can flash the preview right now. However, one can expect a Beta release close to the final launch.