Google kicked off the week with the 2018 I/O keynote and the release of the second developer preview of select smartphones compatible with Android P.
The first Android P version, released in March, was an alpha preview with minimal features baked in. The latest preview takes it up a notch by increasing the number of supported smartphones and adding some of the new stuff shown during the keynote presentation.
Disclosure Before Installation
Before anyone can install the latest beta firmware, it is important to know that this is the second out of four to five more developer previews for the OS. Due to the unstable nature of the software, it should be downloaded by individuals who know what is in store for them.
Furthermore, the beta is only compatible with a limited number of smartphones from different manufacturers, such as the Google Pixel/XL, Google Pixel 2/XL, Vivo X21/UD, Sony Xperia XZ2, Essential PH-1, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, and the Oppo R15 Pro.
Where To Download And Notable Features
Interested users who own any of the supported handsets can check the official Android P Developer page. To help make the software even better, users should submit feedback regularly.
Now that most users have taken the time to try out the latest software beta, here are some of the great features in Android P that users reportedly love.
When Apple dropped the physical home button from the iPhone X, it delivered a new gesture system that users quickly adapted to. Manufacturers such as Xiaomi and OnePlus followed suit and implemented their own gesture control system.
For the longest time, Google's operating system relied on physical or virtual buttons, but it will soon include gesture-based navigation. Android P will allow its users to have a similar experience with that of the iOS-based device along with a little extra.
Once enabled, it replaces the buttons below the screen with a gesture icon. A single tap takes users back to the Home screen, while a long-press opens Google Assistant. A short swipe right opens the previous app, but dragging left or right flips through recent apps. A long swipe up toggles the app drawer, and a short one pulls up the recent apps.
Google wants to showcase some of the advancements it made with machine-learning in Android P. One of its features is programmed to get to know the user to control battery consumption. Based on the usage patterns of the user, the system identifies frequently used applications.
The system will enforce restrictions on rarely used apps to conserve battery life. The OS will automatically adjust if usage patterns change in the future.
Google acknowledges that there are smartphone users who are addicted to their device, it might mean more business for the company, but it understands that wellness comes first. Android P will track and analyze the user's activities. Users will be able to track their smartphone usage so they can make the necessary adjustments.
Details such as how many times the device was unlocked, frequently used apps or functions, and hours spent looking at the screen will be available.
Do Not Disturb Improvements
With Android P, Google wants to give users more control over their smartphones. The software expands the customization options available to users when the phone is in Do Not Disturb mode. Users will be able to change the settings to allow important calls to go through and to display certain notifications.
Another feature called Shush allows owners to automatically activate Do Not Disturb mode by putting their phone face-down.
Google is expected to release the next Android P preview on June, and more improvements will be available by then.