Google Announces Android P
This one is codenamed “P” and your guess is as good as ours as to what dessert-themed name the final version of the software will receive. Well, we will stick with Android Pie. We expect Google to give Android P a more formal unveiling at Google I/O 2018.
There are many new features that landed with Android P;
- Display Cutout Support (aka notch support): Android P will make it easier for developers to optimize their apps’ look to either force a fullscreen layout around the notch or keep the content separate from the status bar and notch.
- Multi-Camera API: On devices with two or more cameras, developers can get streams from all of them simultaneously, apparently calling a logical or fused stream.
- Better Messaging Notifications: Developers can now properly show images and stickers, display full conversations with contact names and suggest smart replies (like the Reply app but natively), which is a nice little addition.
- Indoor Positioning: Android P is also adding support for the IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol (WiFi RTT), which will let apps measure their distance to an access point and by using triangulation. It can also deduct the indoor position up to one or two meters.
- Open Mobile API For NFC Payments: Apps can now access secure elements and can enable smart card payments through NFC (Near Field Communication).
- Data Cost And JobScheduler: Using network status signals coming from the carriers, JobScheduler can check what an app’s pending task is and manage it by deferring large requests on a congested network or prefetching things when the network is unmetered.
- ImageDecoder: A replacement to BitmapFactory, it gives out better decoding, scaling, post-processing, and support for animated images.
There are more, such as from new Neural Networks API 1.1 to HDR VP9 video support, HEIF image encoding, and improvements to autofill, fingerprint authentication, ART performance, Kotlin optimization, and power efficiency.
Android P Limitations (As Of Now, We Know)
- Google Play will require all app updates to target Android Oreo (API 26) and above. Which means, Android P developer preview will warn users each time they install an app that targets a platform earlier than Android 4.2.
- Access to non-public APIs will be restricted, so developers will have to migrate their apps to use a public equivalent or reach out to the Android developer team to request new APIs for their use case if they’re not available yet.
- As spotted earlier, idle apps won’t have access to the mic, camera, or sensors in the background.
- Yes, preview images are available, along with the instructions here.
- There is no easy OTA beta to join, you have to manually flash the image on your device.
- Supported devices are Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and obviously the Android Emulator.
ALSO READ: AR Emoji vs Animoji: What’s The Difference?
Well, we will get into depth in the coming days. Meanwhile, here are some handy links for developers: P Preview site, P Preview timeline, new features, and APIs, API reference, API 28 support library, feedback, bug report.