Google on Wednesday rolled out the first developer preview of its next iteration of the operating system, Android P. The preview is currently available for select devices which include Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices. Unfortunately, Google has ended support for the Google Pixel C, Google Nexus 5X, and Google Nexus 6P devices.
One of the biggest changes in the software is Google’s catering to those cutouts. Because, well, the notches are coming. Asus last month announced the Zenfone 5, complete with, yes, a notch. Both Huawei and LG are also rumored to have phones with notches on the way.
The Android P developers preview hints at a host of new features and some design changes in the upcoming Android OS. For instance, the preview shows certain visual changes in the Android UI which include a refreshed look for the settings menu, notifications, quick settings and others.
The new look for notifications also includes a refreshed appearance for messaging apps. With this change, users could reply to texts right from the notification itself. The messaging apps would support the inclusion of “Smart replies”, images and stickers directly in the notification.
A big visual change can be seen in the volume slider in the upcoming Android P. Google has now repositioned the slider to the right, moving it from its initial position at the top of the smartphone. In addition, the default volume setting would now be that of media and not the phone’s volume, avoiding any accidental setting of the phone to silent. Google has also added an on-screen Ring button below the volume slider to allow the switching of the smartphone to ring, vibrate or silent.
There’s now support for HEIF and HDR VP9 Profile 2 image and video codecs, which once again brings Android in line with iOS. Android apps can now request data from multiple cameras at once. A multi-camera API will allow apps to use dual cameras with more granular control.
Wi-Fi can now be used for indoor positioning more accurately. With support for Wi-Fi RTT (Round-Trip-Time), your indoor location can now be made accurate down to a meter or two by measuring the distance between two access points.
As far as the notable changes for developers are concerned, “Android P restricts access to the mic, camera and all SensorManager sensors from apps that are idle”. If an app is in the background and not active, it won’t be able to access your microphone.
The company would release more details in May and release Android P in autumn. It would release an Android Beta version before unveiling the “final product”.
By: Shivam Vahia | Source: EOTO