Google Details Android P at I/O; Public Beta Now Available

May 9, 2018, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Android P is bound to hit new smartphones at a later point this year. But ahead of that, Google has kept its usual process running by detailing the upcoming OS at its I/O conference. At the keynote of the event, Google has confirmed the presence and addition of many new features in Android P that are all centered on improving the ease of use.

Android P’s changes start right with the user interface. Google has followed minimal changes for the recent iterations regarding user interface and Android P will be following the same path. However, what draws the line is a drastic improvement in gesture support. Google’s home button is now powered with support for gestures that can be used to invoke multiple functions.

That includes accessing recent app list along with app previews by swiping up, accessing the entire list of apps by swiping further app, and more. Additional features can be expected for other gestures across the home button including navigational features. This is evident as multiple screenshots have suggested the confining of the buttons to the single home button in the navigational bar. That said, the home button gestures can be used in all the screens.

Another area where Google is overhauling its smartphone operating system is with the notifications. Android P will give additional control over notifications to the user like notification management of individual apps right from the notification bar. Users can long press the notification to access the settings for the respective app. You can also get future pop-up of particular app notifications right when dismissing a notification. Additionally, Google will focus upon predictive app usage, like predicting the action to be done when plugging in headphone etc.

Another area where Google has constantly strived to improve is with the battery life. In Android P, Google is yet again making use of its AI to up the battery performance with a feature called Adaptive Battery. The feature will scan your usage to analyze areas of battery consumption using its machine learning capabilities and tackle them down. Individual usage patterns will be taken up for consideration to determine the power consumption along with other factors.

Results saw a reduction of up to 30% CPU wakeup by apps with the Adaptive Battery, which would directly reflect in battery consumption. The same machine learning applies for auto-brightness feature in Android P, a.k.a Adaptive Brightness, that will consider multiple factors rather than just ambient lighting to adjust the display brightness.

Android P also comes along with additional features including support for notch to satisfy the growing trend among Android smartphones. The new features are also getting rolled out to the public in beta form. Users can get Android P public beta on select devices by heading over to Google Android Beta program.  Apart from all the Pixel devices, Android P beta will also be available for the following devices: Essential Phone PH-1, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21UD, Vivo X21, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S.

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