The first developer preview for Android P is available and it does come with a series of new features. Despite being a very early build it still does give a glimpse of features that we could expect to make it to the final version. The first developer preview is apparently pretty simple and the next preview is expected to arrive only by May this year. Meanwhile, let us take a closer look at what is new in this developer preview.
Improvised Quick Settings Pulldown
Google had made some changes to the Settings Pulldown on the Android Oreo. In Android P the icons have been rounded off. The Bluetooth and WiFi icons are now colored when switched on and greyed when not in use.
Accommodating the Notch
It all began with the iPhone X using a small area of the front screen to house the front camera and FaceID hardware. The notch earned notoriety for not only disturbing the continuity but also started interfering with the usual functionality of the apps. Despite its oddity, the notch has found its way into the Android smartphones. The Android P developers preview accommodates the notch with the help of new API’s that check the cutout shape and fetch full-screen layout around it.
New Photo and Video features
Android P supports a couple of new formats like HDR VP9, media API’s and also the HEIF image compression (the one used by iOS). The multi-camera API will allow users to stream access two or more physical cameras. The new version of the Android also comes with ImageDecoder, a developer option that will replace BitmapFactory and thus help the developers to decode images to bitmaps.
Google has baked in some interesting connectivity features on the Android P. The platform now supports IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol. With this in place apps can use the APIs in order to ascertain the distance relative to a nearby WiFi access points. This feature is mostly aimed at helping retailers or malls to beam relevant content to the shoppers. That apart, the Android P preview will also focus on better ART performance, security and Privacy.
The Android P preview is currently available for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The factory images can be downloaded here. That being said please exercise caution since the early preview builds are usually riddled with bugs and not intended to be used on your daily driver device.