Google Unveils Smarter And Intuitive Android P
Google has revealed its newest operating system for Android, the Android P with beta mode available to a handful of devices.
The Android P has a bunch of new smart features that understand what a user wants to do and helps them get the most from their device by spending less time on it.
The Android P OS was unveiled overnight at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California. This is the follow up to Android Oreo, the P has not been revealed what it stands for but expect it to be some form of dessert.
Notifications are becoming more intuitive with Android P realising what notifications a user ignores and stops showing them on the notification centre. Notification settings for an app can be controlled by long pressing on a particular app with the settings window appearing.
There will be a new ‘manage your notifications’ button where all notifications can be controlled.
Google has introduced a number of new smart features including ‘adaptive battery’ which according to the company prioritises battery power only for the apps and services that are used the most, to help squeeze the most out of your battery.
It has also created ‘adaptive brightness’ which learns how a user likes their brightness depending on their surroundings.
Android P is adding smart suggesting helping a user to better navigate their day and automatically anticipates its user’s next action, this is done through App Actions. For example, a user connects their headphones to the device and Android will ‘surface an action’ to resume your go-to Spotify playlist.
Actions show up throughout Android in places like the Launcher, Smart Text Selection, the Play Store, the Google Search app and the Assistant.
Slices is another action which basically gives a user what they need quickly. For example, If you search for “Lyft” in Google Search, an interactive ‘slice’ appears giving you the price and time for a trip to work, and it’s interactive so a user can quickly order the ride.
Quick Settings has been redesigned providing a better way to take screenshots via a button on the menu that comes up after pressing down the power button; simplified volume controls and an easier way to manage notifications.
Google has introduced a number of ‘digital wellbeing’ features helping users to spend less time on their devices. Its new dashboard shows how long a user is spending time on their device, including time spent in apps, how many times the phone has been unlocked your phone, and how many notifications a user has received.
App Timer lets a user set time limits on apps, when close to reaching a time limit a notification will pop up and once the limit has been reach the icon will grey out. Android P also has a new Do Not Disturb Mode that not only silencing phone calls and notifications but all visual interruptions that pop up on a screen. If the phone is turned over on a surface with the screen facing down the phone will automatically go into Do Not Disturb mode.
Another feature is Wind Down which will switch a night light when it gets dark, and it will turn on Do Not Disturb and fade the screen to grayscale at a chosen bedtime to remind a user to get to sleep at a chosen time.
Google is bringing machine learning to app developers through the launch of ML Kit, a new set of cross-platform APIs available through Firebase. ML Kit offers developers on-device APIs for text recognition, face detection, image labelling and more. So mobile developers building apps like Lose It!, a nutrition tracker, can easily deploy our text recognition model to scan nutritional information and ML Kit’s custom model APIs to automatically classify over 200 different foods with a phone’s camera.
Beyond smarts, simplicity and digital wellbeing, Google says there are hundreds of additional improvements coming in Android P, including security and privacy improvements such as DNS over TLS, encrypted backups, Protected Confirmations and more.
Android P Beta is available on Google Pixel and Pixel 2 (plus XL versions), Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, and Essential PH‑1. To get Android P Beta enrol into the Android Beta Program online.
The new OS will be due later this year with no specific date set.