As is tradition already, Google has released a very alpha version of Android P very close to “Pi Day” (3/14). This is the first public developer build, so expect it to be extremely buggy! We don’t have information yet on which sweet the P stands for. Now let’s get right into it!
Notch Support & Status Bar Changes
Android P works around the notch modern smartphones have, and this will also make it easier for app developers to optimize their apps, so they can either work around the notch or keep it right under it and under the status bar.
The status bar will adapt its height automatically, the time has been moved to the left side of the status bar. This new design distributes the important status bar bits more evenly across the top of the phone, leaving more room for a screen cutout.
Redesigned Notification Tab
The notification panel has been overhauled. Now, in messaging apps’ notifications, images and stickers show up properly, full conversations are clearer, and even suggest smart replies! As opposed to Android 8.1, there is no time, date or cell phone carrier message on the notification screen. The quick settings buttons are now encircled, which turn dark gray if they are active or light gray if they are not. Just below those is a handle showing that you can pull down on the quick settings to see all of them, which is an improvement over the tiny icon in Android 8.1.
Convenience In One OS
Android P introduces many more useful features, both for developers and for users! First of all, we have the indoor positioning system. Android P has support for IEEE 802.11mc, also known as Wi-Fi Round-Trip-Time (RTT). While GPS mostly doesn’t work indoors, Wi-Fi RTT on Android will allow an app (with permission) to calculate your position to within 1 to 2 meters, provided three or more access points are in range.
Second of all, there is the Multi-camera API. That means that applications will be able to use both the front camera and the back camera at the same time, allowing for fun and interesting ideas to emerge. Third of all, apps will now be able to access secure elements and enable smart card payments using the Open Mobile API for NFC payments.
Additionally, there are major advancements to power saving, privacy (apps that are idle won’t have default access to the microphone, camera or other sensors), more media support for images, music and videos and better backup encryption. And we haven’t even scratched the surface on Google’s enormous blog post about the release!
If they haven’t already, the P developer preview images should arrive sometime today, and there are detailed instructions on the download page. You can only install the preview image on Pixel devices (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL) and on the Android emulator. You will have to flash the image manually.
We will arrive soon with more news regarding Android P once we have some time to play around with it and once more preview images get released, too, so please tell us what you think about the new Android down in the comments and stay tuned!