The first preliminary version of Android P is here, the next big Android update that will arrive at the end of the year. We tell you all the announced news.
As usual, we find aesthetic novelties, for developers and small improved details. A little bit of everything to make our devices work better and the applications are more complete.
The new version of Android includes support for the 802.11mc Wi-Fi protocol. It is also known as Wi-Fi Round-Trip-Time (RTT) and allows the access point to calculate your distance to it, knowing your position inside a building.
To do this, it requires the device to connect to three or more access points that together will triangulate your position. With this new function we can see implementations as accurate maps in interiors of public places.
Native support for the “notch”
The upper cut of the screen in the latest phones, the style iPhone X or Essential Phone, is fashionable. It has been baptized as notch and allows to have a screen on the sides of the camera, speaker and front sensors.
The behavior of this cut with the interface and applications is something that each manufacturer has done to its extent. Now Google offers an official and unique way for different types of notch.
The problem is that by system the notifications will be cut even if our phone does not have notch.
New design for notifications and quick adjustments
Notification and quick adjustment areas change design; Of course speaking of pure Android, then each manufacturer will decide whether to continue with the design they used.
Now we see two large rounded white background cards , one with quick settings in circles with gray tones and one with notifications. It reminds us a lot of Fuchsia, the possible operating system that will replace Android in the future.
In addition, the icons can no longer be expanded as before, when for example we could click on the Bluetooth or Wifi arrows to quickly access some settings.
We hope that night mode becomes a reality or we will all be blind at night.
The way to stop apps changes
Inside the options of settings of applications is where we can force the stop of an application Now that option moves although only to a small menu that we will have in the upper right corner as we see in the image.
The volume buttons change their behavior
One of the most frustrating elements of Android has always been the control of the volume since many times we did not know if we were modifying the one of the calls or the multimedia.
From Android P the physical buttons of the mobile will modify the multimedia volume and if we want to change the volume of calls at some point we must enter the corresponding setting.
New design in energy saving mode
As of this version of Android, the system will not change the color of the navigation bar to orange when the energy saving mode is activated.
What it will do is warn us that this mode is activated by putting the + symbol on the battery icon, something that was already done in Oreo. And we can configure it between 5 and 70% battery, not only from 15% as now.
The unlock pattern fades
One of the problems with the unlock pattern is that if someone looked fleetingly when we did it, they would see the perfectly marked line. From now on, the drawing we are making will disappear as we move forward to make it harder for others to keep our identification form.
Up to 5 bluetooth devices connected at the same time
In Oreo we can have two bluetooth devices placed at the same time, one for calls and another for multimedia sound. In Android P we can have up to 5, but that does not mean that we can emit sound at 5, it is only for very specific cases. Also this option is in the developer settings, which indicates that it is not for all users.
Magnifying glass in the text selection
When we go to select a text will appear in the upper area an enlargement of the selection we are doing to make it easier for us to choose exactly the letters or spaces we want.
The do not disturb mode is simplified
Instead of having three options like so far we will only have one option to activate the Do Not Disturb mode, which will be modifiable but quickly accessible by clicking on the quick settings.
Google wants to simplify this configuration that in the past has been somewhat confusing.
The clock is changed to the right side
Among the minor design changes that we find, we now see how the clock is on the right side of the notification bar. In this way the right part will only indicate the state and the left more aspects related to the current events such as the clock and notifications.
Full color adjustments
The changes in the interface also reach the settings screen where we now have a more colorful view. Each icon has a rounded background with a color and the search bar is now rounded.
Full chats in notifications
If it was already quite comfortable to respond to the messages that came to you from the notifications, now it will be more. Applications may choose to show chat fragments with images, stickers, profile images of those who speak, etc…
It will also be easier for applications to add predefined answers as they currently do to the Google Reply application.
Screen capture editor
It was a feature very seen in the layers of the manufacturers and with Android P reaches everyone. This tool allows, once you take a screenshot, share it or edit it by cutting it or drawing on it.
In addition we can take screenshots directly from the power button, with a new menu.
More uses for the double camera
The double camera is already in most new Android phones and with Android P the application developers will be able to use them better.
Now camera applications can use the multiple cameras both front and rear and create with them bokeh effects (portrait mode), zoom or whatever comes to mind.
This function until now was limited to the manufacturers and the tools they provide. They will also have access to information from the optical stabilizer and can use the screen as flash easily.
In real time, applications can use the images captured by the multiple cameras at the same time. This way they can create a preview of the effects to apply after taking the photo.
Support for cameras via USB
Also, although making it clear that only some devices will be compatible, the support for using USB / UVC cameras has been announced.
Environments screen notifications centered
Now mobiles that use Google’s native code to display data with the Ambiente Screen mode or Always On Display will see how notifications and other texts appear centered on the screen, instead of aligned to the left.
In addition, after many requests Google has decided to show the battery percentage on this screen, which is very practical to see at a glance.
Task planning according to data usage
One of the most important parts of Android is the one that is responsible for granting a turn to the different tasks that are waiting to be executed. In Android P, this scheduler (JobScheluder) will determine the tasks to be executed according to its data usage and the state of the network.
You will be able to receive information from the operators about whether the network is congested or not and in case it is postponed the tasks that require more data.
In this way, a bad connection should not slow down our device.
Performance improvements and more importance for Kotlin
As usual, Android P includes optimizations in the Android runtime environment. This time the improvements allow faster opening of applications and that they use less memory.
Applications written in Kotlin, the new programming language supported by Android, will also benefit. These will run more efficiently.
More presence for the development of AI
Artificial Intelligence begins to be in many applications and Android devices are increasingly more capable of using neural networks.
In this update, developers who use Android devices to train and operate their neural networks will have access to more mathematical operations that will help them such as Transpose (transpose) or Mean (media).
There will also be native support for NPU chips, processors that are dedicated exclusively to perform tasks related to artificial intelligence.