Among a gazillion other announcements, Google today also detailed its mobile operating system’s next major update — Android P. While on the surface, the new build might seem all about navigation gestures and various redesigned elements, Google has managed to cram in a plethora of little and big smart features which are powered by machine learning. Here are six of them.
By far, one of the biggest highlights of Android P is something called “Actions”. Actions are, well, actions of a particular app. For instance, a play link for an album on Google Play Music. Actions will be present inside Android’s default launcher at the top of the apps list and below the frequently used row. The page will display two actions depending on the context and a couple of other attributes like your habits themselves. To put it in perspective, say you connect a pair of earphones to your phone. Android will then recommend an action which directly plays a music playlist you were listening to before.
Google has also tweaked how Android handles your phone’s battery. With the help of new algorithms which the company has developed with DeepMind (which is technically also a part of Alphabet, Google’s parent company), Android will now prioritize battery power only for the applications you employ the most. Others, not so much. Therefore, the software will automatically shut down the apps you don’t use a lot in the background.
Another essential aspect which is getting a fresh “Adaptive” tag is the screen’s brightness. Basically, your phone will keep an eye on when and how much you adjust the brightness level throughout the day and in the future, update it to match your habits.
This feature isn’t powered by machine learning but it is quite brilliant if you ask me. Android P’s navigation bar now has an additional contextual button which pops up whenever the auto-rotation is locked and you turn your phone in the landscape mode. So, for instance, if you’ve disabled auto-rotation and you try to watch a video, you can simply tap the new button instead of enabling auto-rotation. Handy, right?
Another intelligent feature or you can say, platform Android P comes is designed to help you fight off smartphone addiction. Part of the company’s efforts towards promoting digital wellbeing, Android P has a feature called the “Dashboard” which essentially summarizes all your activities like screen time, individual app usage, and more. In addition to that, Google will be also updating a bunch of its apps like YouTube to integrate with the Android Dashboard.
For instance, if you have been watching videos on YouTube for more than a few hours, the app will throw a notification suggesting you take a break. Some of these recommendations will be based on your own habits which Android will record and analyze over the course of a period. Through Android Dashboard, you’ll be also manually able to configure custom timers for applications and monitor your past usage for all the installed applications.
Lastly, there are notification suggestions. If you dismiss notifications from a particular app far too option, Android P will now ask if you’d like to mute the channel entirely.