Android P In Action
Last month we wrote about Android P and how it’s become the talk of the town despite Oreo’s youth. We’re still some ways off from P (currently known as Pistachio) making its way into the hands of everyday consumers, but earlier this week Google released their first preview of P to developers. Here’s a quick highlight of some of the cool features it has to offer. Spoiler: some of them are pretty cool.
Android P Highlights:
Wifi RTT – The new API for Wi-Fi Round Trip Time lets you take advantage of indoor positioning in your apps. RTT measures the distance to nearby Wifi access points that support RTT. By doing this with 3 access points RTT calculates a triangulated position accurate within about a meter. There are ton’s of creative opportunities here, and don’t worry about privacy. Only the user’s phone is able to determine the distance, so no one else will know who you are in a crowded room.
Notifications – In Android 7.0 users gained the capability to reply to messages directly from notifications. Then in 8.0 notification channels were introduced to give users more control over what types of notifications they want to receive from an app. P takes these features one step further. Now in the notification bar you can see image messages, and utilize the auto-replies available in your messaging app. So forget ever using your messaging app, everything can be done from your home screen now.
Animations – The new class AnimatedImageDrawable allows for simple drawing and displaying of GIFs and WebP animated images. This class lets apps show animated images without having to manage updates or burden the UI thread.
Display Cutout Support – While this feature isn’t going to be in the hands of users, developers are able to modify their phone’s looks in settings under Device theme. This allows developers to emulate different kinds of screen displays such as including the notch that’s been growing in popularity. Thanks a lot Apple BOOOOOOO.
How to get Android P:
Right now we may as well say P is for Pixel. The current release is only available on pixel and pixel2 devices (or an Android emulator running one of these). And once again, this initial release is for developers only not commercial use. As such Google has made it only available by manual download in Flash. Click here to download the Android P beta and see what changes it has in store. If you want to install it on your pixel device then check out this video of installing a developer preview on a Nexus 6p as the process will be the same.
You can read more about each of these features and more at developer.android.com. There are also some brilliant Easter eggs such as allowing users to rotate their phone to landscape mode even when they have auto-rotate turned off, and improving features for one-handed use. After you download the Preview let us know what you think the biggest changes are and what still needs to be done.
Comment below on what you think the official name of Android P will be.