If anyone knows how to grab the attention of the consumers/developers – it is undoubtedly Google who makes it a personal mission to outsmart everyone else in the market. Google capitalizes on the basic elements of human psychology, such as curiosity, familiarity, sprinkled with a little bit of handiness to create the right hype for their product launches.

Rumor has it that since Google is launching the next generation mobile operating system on March 14th, or more particularly 3/14, this drives the name Android Pi or Android Pie. Or is it Android Pixel? No one knows for sure. All we can do is cross our fingers, take deep breaths, and wait in an agitated anticipation.

The good news is that the Android P developer preview will be out over the next week. But, before you hit the update button, there are a few notable Android P updates that you need to be well-aware of.

Related: Fuchsia OS: A New Star is Born In Google’s Stellar Nursery

Unfortunately, the Android phone that you have in your pocket right now won’t be able to upgrade itself to Android P, well, not unless it is equipped with a magic Android Pixel button on it. As of February 2018, only 1.1% of all Android devices have been updated to Android Oreo. The public update for Android P won’t be available until fall, next year.

Clock to the left & more space for notifications

The new and sleek Android P moves the clock that we have been accustomed to seeing on the far right, to the top left of the menu bar, allowing more room for four more icons to be placed at the top.

One more addition is that the thread of messages now appear in the notification bar, so you don’t need to remember the last conversation that you had with your friend.

android p clock placement

A multicolored gorgeous settings menu

Google seems to love tinkering with its settings screen, trying on an ever increasing variety of skins. In this update, the change falls on the hip-hop end of the spectrum. The dull grayscale icons of Android Oreo are replaced with a colorful circle format with a hint of Samsung in it. Android P is getting more organized by dividing the icons in their respective sections, such as Network, Battery, and Display.

Are you bored with the usual apps? Let us create gorgeous ones for you.

A more sophisticated Quick-settings menu

For some time now, Google has been planning to make some changes in the quick-settings menu. Finally, in the new operating system, Google has rounded off the corners to garner a more sophisticated look and feel. The top icons of Bluetooth, Wifi, and battery are simply getting a full-rounded look. Fully expanded, the new Quick Settings pulldown looks something along these lines:

The dock just looks like a dock again

Apart from the adoption of the previous interface, the dock is now updated with a cloudy background which makes the icons on the front stand out more, making it easier for users to swipe & switch between various apps. In addition to this, a microphone icon has been added to the right side of the menu along with the search bar & Google assistant.

No more holding breaths for that perfect screenshot.

Capturing the perfect screenshots has always been a major pain-point of users. Thanks to the highly-skilled team of developers at Google, who understood the problem and applied a simple solution. Now, in Android P, you’ll be able to take screenshots right from a pop-up menu that incorporates the power and restart buttons as well.

Volume Slider just got A Face-lift

Google must have loved relocating the power options in their Android O; which is why they are doing the same with the volume slider in Android P. A little more work on the part of the software engineers at Google made the menu even simpler.

The extensive use of Sans font

Right from the onset, Google has stuck to only one font for the ‘Allow’ and ‘Deny’ buttons. That font is now being used in Google Pixel/Pie in more than one places. And is now labeled the “Product Sans.”

Some noticeable mentions for Mobile App Developers

  • In Android P, the camera, mic, and sensor managers are restricted for apps that are idle. If an app on your phone is sitting idle, it won’t be able to access the microphone or even the camera of your phone. This is a bumper for conspiracy theories that we keep hearing regarding how “Facebook-is-forever-eaves-dropping”.

 

  • The good news is that the audio and video codes are built-in with Android P. This includes HEIF and HDR VP9 Profile 2. Google is also aiming to enhance these APIs to make it easier for developers to integrate these functions.

 

  • The inclusion of a multi-camera API, so an Android app can individually request data from more than one camera sensor at once. So, for phones that have two cameras at the back, there will be a standard way for apps to control them more granularly.

 

  • One excellent feature is the integration of Wi-Fi RTT, or more specifically the Round-Trip-Time. This will allow apps to gain indoor location data down to a meter or two. It works by measuring the distance to various Wi-Fi access points.

 

  • The good news for those lazy users who hate inputting passwords is that Android P has a smart Autofill that remembers passwords without a hassle.

 

  • Have you grown weary of your battery draining all the time, even if it felt like you had just charged it? The job scheduler is smarter at understanding the idle state of apps and to keep the balance between background apps and apps that are running in real-time.

 

  • Google will be restricting you to a handful of SDK interfaces. The once-public APIs won’t be able to work anymore. The company is forcing developers to reach customer support if their apps are not working on the new operating system.

To wrap-up the Pie

It is quite early to envisage how the new operating system will sit with users. With such a small percentage shifting to Android O, it is difficult for Google to expect a quick switch. But, as a final verdict, Google keeps innovating, and this is what makes Google Android system one of the most popular operating systems over the globe. Let us keep our fingers crossed and see how things turn out over the coming year.

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