The annual Android update cycle is currently underway, and Google is providing a sneak peak of what the forthcoming Android P version will have in store.
Mentioned here are the key highlights of Android P as revealed during the Google I/O conference.
Dashboard: The upcoming Android P wants to undo some of the things that its preceding versions have been responsible for, that of making users addicted to the smartphone. Google has also named this endeavor as Digital wellbeing.
All of it comprises of a new section named Dashboard that would hold a detailed overview of the time you have been engaged with the phone, app-wise breakdown of the time spent with each app and so on. Users will also get to know how many notifications they have received, the number of times they have unlocked their phone and such.
Dashboard will also allow users to set a time limit to be spent with each app, beyond which the app icon changes its appearance to look greyed out, and hence less inviting. Further attempts to open the app will invoke a pop-up informing that the time limit for it has been exhausted. The app can be opened again only after the user has gone though the Dashboard again to unlock the app.
Then there is the new Wind Down option as well, which sets the phone to DND mode at a set time when the user is supposed to be heading to the bed. Of course, that is as per the time that the user has set as the sleeping time. When the time arrives, the entire phone’s home screen becomes grayscale, which should be a good reason to keep the device out of reach.
Better battery life: To achieve this, Google has turned to AI to help maximize battery performance. As such, Adaptive Battery, which has been devised under collaboration with Google’s DeepMind aims to pick up the usage pattern of the particular user. This way, the device will know the apps and services the user relies on the most. Google said this will help in cutting down CPU times by 30 percent.
Similarly, Adaptive Brightness will aim to determine the kind of brightness the user finds most convenient while taking into account the location and external light conditions. This way, the device will offers the most convenient lighting best suited for the user, which again should lead to battery optimization.
New gesture controls: Android P introduces new gesture controls that will let users accomplish several common tasks via simple gestures. So a swipe up from the bottom will launch a snapshot of recently used apps. Swiping up again from the recent app menu will launch the app drawer and so on. Again, swiping the home button to the left will launch the multitasking view. In any case, the Google search bar too has been shifted to the bottom which makes it easily accessible to the user.
App Action and Slices: This again is another feature where AI is at work. With App Action, the device tries to predict the sort of actions users are likely to attempt post the given act. So after the user has inserted a headphone, the device will present the user with the option to play music that was last being heard.
Slices is another convenient feature where users’ interaction with certain apps has been simplified. For instance, if the user is looking to book a cab, he or she might well type the same on Google Assistant or make a Google Search of it. There would be links provided to help book a ride instead of having to open a particular app and make the bookings.
Another nice thing with Android P is that the upcoming Android version is now available as a beta on a wider range of devices. Those include the Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Essential PH‑1, Sony Xperia XZ2, OPPO R15 Pro and Vivo X21.