Android P: Release date, features and everything you need to know about Google’s next operating system | Top Stories
Google is getting ready to launch its latest Android P operating system soon and there’s plenty to look forward to.
Following several beta releases and lots of leaks there has been plenty revealed early about the mobile OS which was first announced by Google on May 8 this year.
From better battery life to AI phone smarts, there are lots of new features coming with this latest generation of Android’s operating system.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Android P OS.
Android P: Release date
Google traditionally releases it’s new mobile operating system on its latest generation of smartphone. In this case that should mean we see Android P appear on the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Recent leaks suggest Google is gearing up to launch the Pixel 3 smartphones on October 4.
However, serial leak specialist Evan Blass – who has a good track record of reliable leaks – claims the new Android OS will be released on August 20.
Android Oreo launched last year on August 21 and Android Nougat arrived on August 17 the year before that.
Android P: Name
A fun topic of debate every year leading up to Google’s release of its new Android OS is the platform’s name.
While the Android P beta has already been released and updated several times, Google still hasn’t revealed what that P stands for.
Previous generations have all been food related, generally sweet food specifically.
Some suggestions for this generation of OS include Android Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Android Pistachio Ice Cream, Android Pecan Pie, Android Peanut Butter and Android Pancake.
Android P: New features
Lots of new features for Android P have already been revealed in the Android P beta. While these are described here as they currently work, there may still be changes for the final public release of Android P.
Smart gesture navigation
Google has gone the way of Apple’s iPhone X and ditched buttons completely in favour of gesture navigation for Android P.
The new menu now no longer features the home button, back button and multi-tasking button. Instead there is one thin bar at the bottom of the screen.
This bar can be tapped to get to the home screen or long pressed for Google Assistant. A back button appears when needed and to multi-task between apps simply swipe up.
All this comes along with notch support as part of Google’s campaign to get behind these new types of phones.
If you’ve ever been frustrated as GPS cuts out when you go indoors you’ll like the new Wi-Fi Round-Trip Time (RTT).
This feature allows apps to track a phone from indoors which could technically mean indoor navigation will be possible. Of course there is the worry of deeper level creepy tracking too.
Adaptive battery and brightness
This new feature is set to be hugely popular as it should enhance the battery life of your current smartphone.
Adaptive Battery uses Google’s DeepMind AI smarts to spot apps which are rarely or never used so it can throttle their access to battery power.
Apparently this has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in wake-up call use of the processor, which should mean a hefty save on battery life.
The other part to this battery saving feature is adaptive brightness. Yes phones already have this for ambient lighting but this new mode will learn your habits, location and preferences over time to better serve your needs while conserving power the rest of the time.
Google Lens built-in
Google Lens lets your camera detect and display information about the world around you. This is now built into Android P as standard.
New support is also included for multiple lenses meaning phones with multiple cameras can be used within apps.
This could allow apps to have more features that take advantage of things like depth of field view combined with that object recognition smarts.
App Actions and Slices
This is another smart feature that works based on your phone learning your habits. Shortcuts will appear in your app drawer based on what your device thinks you need.
So if you regularly call your wife, when you open the app drawer it’ll automatically come up with her number to call. Or if you launch Spotify after plugging in headphones it’ll learn and offer to open that when it detects headphones connected.
Slices is similar but within the Google search bar, so if you type Cornwall, for example, it might offer the Google Photos icon as a next step to open pics of your trip there.
This is a really nice adaptation feature. Say you regularly swipe away a notification – Google will spot that and stop that app showing notifications.
You can also open a list of recent notifications to turn off any others that you don’t want anymore.
The Android P Dashboard is part of Google’s new Digital Wellbeing campaign to help people stop using their phones as much.
By giving you information on how you’re using your phone this new feature should help you to avoid using it too much.
This is done by offering data on things like how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, opened an app, spent time in an app, how many notifications you’ve received and more.
The result should be an ability to cut down on the amount you use apps by setting time limits and getting notifications when you hit that limit. The app icon will even be greyed out on the homescreen when the limit has been reached for the time period.
How to get Android P
The Android P beta is available now for free from here .
To be eligible you need the right device. The above link has a list of all compatible devices which include Google’s Pixel phones, Essential Phone, OnePlus, Sony and Oppo handsets.
Make sure you’ve backed up your current phone just in case as this is a beta so there’s no guarantees it’ll work perfectly.