Unified World Communications Android P - Developer Preview now available

Android P developer preview is available, so what’s new? I’ll be giving you a brief rundown on what is new in this version of Android.

What’s New on Screen?

As a consumer, you expect a certain level of visual changes that stand out with an update. A lot of users don’t tend to go further than this. So what is different in Android P? Last year the iPhone X went for an edge-to-edge display, to achieve this a ‘notch’ is at the top of the display. This is to house the camera, speaker and other sensors for Apple’s FaceID system. Android will now natively compensate for future devices to include a similar notch by moving the clock from the centre of the status bar to the far left. Whilst being a small design change, this will assist other branded Android devices competing with Apple’s flagship device.

Settings are getting a colourful overhaul in an attempt to make navigating settings easier and quicker. On the google pixel phone’s power off menu, there is now a new option to take a screenshot. When adjusting the volume, the slider has been moved to the side to avoid overlay on top of your applications.

Similar to iOS 11’s screenshot feature, when you take a screenshot on Android P a new notification appears. This gives you an instant option to edit or ‘markup’ your screenshot before sending it on. This gives you a quick ability to add text or doodle on your screenshots before you send them.

This is the first developer preview of the new OS and as such visual changes are minimal. In the background, there are several features being added to improve security on the highly used system.

Under the hood of Android P

Applications that are idle will no longer have access to the camera, microphone or sensors on the device. This gives improved power management from applications you may already believe are closed. There is new support for HDR VP9 Profile 2 and HEIF (HEIC), the latter being the new standard of image formatting due to replace JPEG compression techniques.

Interestingly there is a new multi-camera API added which will give developers increased access and control to devices with multiple cameras. There is support for Wi-Fi RTT, which promises to give you highly accurate location information down to 1 meter of your location for better indoor mapping.

Android will also notify you when you are using an app that is designed to run on Android 4.2 or earlier, this is to highlight that an app is significantly out of date and may not run at peak performance if not updated to a later version.

A nice tidy up

The initial preview of Android P is shaping up to be a big catch-up and tidy up for the system. Bringing in features available on competitors and future proofing for new devices with innovative designs. While Android 8 isn’t even available yet on Samsungs flagship devices it is too soon to say whether this version of Android will break the mould and be adopted much faster than it’s predecessors.

There is currently no name in place for Android P, I like to speculate on the name they’ll choose. I’m placing my bets on Android Poptart. Let me know your thoughts @UWC_Anthony where I am running a quick poll on this.

< Back to Blog