The world’s largest mobile operating system announced its latest version with some major tweaks and visual changes. Called Android P, the next generation mobile operating system from Google will see some big changes in terms of security, optimisations and app development.
The new Android P is more colourful. It’s a stylistic change over the previous version. The next generation Android will come with more visual treatments of the old Android elements which will grab attention straight away.
One of the major upgrades is support for the notch in the display. More and more smartphone manufacturers around the world are going the notch way. Asus announced the Zenfone 5 at the MWC with others following. Huawei and LG are ready to launch phones with tall displays which have notches on top.
Here are the 10 new major changes we will get to see on the latest Android P. Since this is a developer preview, some features may change before the final version is out.
- 1 The Visual Upgrade
- 2 Improved Quick Settings
- 3 Google Reply
- 4 Upgraded Low-Battery Mode & Improved Battery Life
- 5 Multi-Camera API
- 6 Improved Privacy & Enhanced Security
- 7 Pixel Launcher & Improved Ambient Display
- 8 The Power Button Can Take Screenshots & Volume Slider Moves To The Side
- 9 Support For Display Notch
- 10 Indoor Mapping
The Visual Upgrade
The newly launched Android P will come with a colourful and redesigned settings, features and notification shades. Overall the platform looks the same as the previous version, Android Oreo, but the change with the colours is a big visual upgrade, which makes the new Android P look more appealing.
Improved Quick Settings
The ‘Quick Settings’ menu has been improved in Android P. As the user pulls down the notification centre, they’ll be shown quick settings with small icons of options which are currently active. The quick access to Settings has now been completely moved to the quick settings menu. Also, the carrier information can now be directly accessed from the quick settings menu itself.
Google has integrated Allo’s Smart Reply functionality to Android P which will support other chat apps. Google now displays the entire chat on the notification panel and allows users to directly reply from there. Now users will be able to read the entire conversation right in the notification area itself, without actually opening the app.
Upgraded Low-Battery Mode & Improved Battery Life
The Low-Battery mode on the Android P has slightly changed. Now it won’t display that red bar anymore on the status bar. Though the new low-battery mode has changed, it will still disable the vibrator and will reduce the background synchronisation to save the battery life. Android P will refine Doze, App Standby and Background Limits to further improve the overall battery life.
The new Multi-Camera API is a set of programming instructions and standards, with which developers can access streams from two or more cameras simultaneously on devices running Android P. On devices with either dual front or dual rear cameras, the Multi-Camera API will let developers offer a “fused camera stream” which can automatically switch between two or more cameras.
Improved Privacy & Enhanced Security
Android P will now encrypt the data traffic. The new version will also now ask you for the passcode on the lock screen if you are restoring your encrypted backup from cloud storage. Now apps won’t be able to use sensors to spy on users, and if an app is idle, the microphone will report empty audio and stop recording any ambient sounds. Android P will now send repeated popups whenever authentication is needed with a fingerprint.
Pixel Launcher & Improved Ambient Display
There will some minor changes to the Google Pixel launcher. Google has now attached a microphone button to the Google search widget. The Ambient Display will now show the battery status, at the bottom of the display, along with the clock and notifications.
The Power Button Can Take Screenshots & Volume Slider Moves To The Side
The big change in the power button options is the addition of a screenshot option in the power menu. Now, long-pressing the power button will also display the screenshot option. Also, the volume slider in Android P has moved to the side from usual position at the top. The slider is now vertical instead of the horizontal.
Support For Display Notch
Android P now supports the latest edge-to-edge screens which have a display cutout for camera and sensors. The new DisplayCutout class will now digitally simulate the notch. It will help developers to pinpoint the location and shape of the non-functional area where content from the app won’t be displayed. This will enable developers to deliver better-conforming apps for a uniform experience across all devices.
Android P will now allow for indoor mapping. App developers can now enable their apps to take advantage of this new feature. The new feature can have a big potential impact on retailers and vendors located in malls and other big spaces.
Android P is still in its development stage and this is just the Developer Preview mode. Google may add more features and customisations to it before we see the final release happening.
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