Launched by surprise on March 7th, Android P Developer Preview 1 supports 4 main Google smartphones: Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. Unfortunately, that means that the Google Pixel C, Google Nexus 5X and the Google Nexus 6P are not supported by the new OS.
There are lots of changes in Android P, and surely even more to come as more developer preview versions appear. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Smart Battery Management
Something that hasn’t been talked about anywhere, from what I’ve seen, is Android P’s Smart Batter Manager. It’s not toggleable because it is on by default and it works without any kind of user input. What it does is “automatically adjusts power usage by apps based on usage.”
On Android Oreo, you can not really change the sound that plays when you charge your device wirelessly. Fortunately, that changes in Android P DP1. If you plug a charger in a device running Android P, you will hear a short sounds coming from the speaker. You can even customize this little sound! (Well, you will need a tool or two for it, but it works!)
Customizable Lockscreen Shortcuts & Navigation bar
In Android Oreo and older, you could access a secret SystemUI Tuner menu by pulling down the status bar and holding the settings cog. In Android P, however, that no longer works, and we are not really sure if another method exists, but the functionality of that menu is still there.
The features that were previously found in that menu, like the lockscreen shortcut customization, the navigation bar tuner or the status bar icon control can be accessed by using Android Debug Bridge! If you would rather not mess with external tools and would prefer an app, Zacharee1 from XDA forums has got you covered!
That app alone works for anything else but the navigation bar. If you want that, too, you can use the latest beta update for the Custom Navigation Bar app, made by paphonb of XDA, too. With it, you can get a more compact navigation bar, swap the back and recents key and many more things!
Suggesting hiding notifications
If you continuously get annoying notifications from that one app, but don’t really want to block all notifications altogether from it for some reason, then Android P may have a solution.
After dismissing notifications from a certain app, Android P will display a red button next to those notifications. When tapped, you will be asked if you want to block them entirely. The button is small and not in the way, but I can still see people mistapping it. Hopefully it won’t keep asking to block notifications after you cancel the option.
Automatically Turn on Bluetooth while driving
This feature is a bit hidden, too. In the Developer Options, there is a new menu called “Feature Flags”. Withing this menu, there are lots of options, one of which is called “settings_bluetooth_while_driving” which, when enabled, shows a new toggle in Connection Preferences: “use Bluetooth while driving.”
We don’t know exactly how it will notice when we are driving, since we couldn’t get it to automatically turn on Bluetooth, so we might have to wait a bit.
Lockscreen Pattern Trail hidden while swiping
Anyone using a pattern lock on an Android device knows there is one issue with it, and that is anyone who looks at your screen while you are unlocking your phone can easily see what the pattern is. Android P now seems to have an option to not show it!
Temporarily disable Fingerprint Authentication
In the Security & Location tab in Settings, there is a toggle under the lock screen preferences called “Show lockdown option”. This adds a new button to the power menu which, when used, locks the phone and disables fingerprint authentication until you unlock your phone normally using a PIN, a password or a pattern. The button also apparently turns off “extended access,” but I’m not entirely sure what that is yet.
Alarm Clock Features
The Quick Settings tiles got reworked in Android P. Users do not seem to like this, since you can no longer expand the tiles. However, there is at least one one convenient change in the new quick settings for the Alarm!
First of all, the tile shows you the time it will ring. Second of all, you can tap on this tile to view the aforementioned alarm. Additionally, you can long-press the tile to set a new alarm.
Shortcut to Settings in PiP window
One of the biggest features in the previous Android Oreo OS is the Picture-In-Picture mode, and in Android P it got a new small adjustment to help people disable the feature quickly. If you tap the PiP window, there is a new settings cog there which will take you to the permissions page of the app in order to disable permissions for PiP.
This concludes this article for the most important convenience-oriented features in Android P DP1. What do you think, are you going to use some if not all of these? Tell us your thoughts in the comments! As always, stay tuned for more information about Android P!