Android P is official: First developer preview released

Android PContinuing with its trend of getting the Alpha version of next major Android release out in March, Google on Wednesday announced the launch of the first Android P developer preview. The company is hoping that this preview will allow the app developers to make sure their apps are ready when the final Android P drops later this year.

Google has also revealed a number of new features that will be making their début in Android P. This feature-set will change as Google further develops and refines the Android P release over the coming months.

Although Google has provided the Android P developer preview system images for the Pixel phones on its website, it is not meant for normal consumers. Unless you are a developer or have a spare Pixel device lying around, it won’t be a good idea to install this developer preview. The company will be sharing beta releases, which are more suitable for the enthusiasts in the coming months

What’s new in Android P

Notch support

As rumoured, Google is integrating support for the display cutouts in Android P. Google is offering developers the APIs that can be used to manage how their content is displayed with the cutout.

According to the company, the cutout support works seamlessly.

Android P screenshots

Improved messaging notifications

Android P will also bring enhanced notifications for the messaging apps. The notifications can now include conversations, photos and stickers, and even suggest smart replies.

Privacy features

As I had reported some days ago, Android P is going to include better privacy protection. The operating system will not allow the idle apps to access the device’s microphone, sensors and camera. These system components will only be accessible to the apps when they are in the foreground or working in background with a live notification in the notification shade.

Google is also planning to enable encryption of Android backups with a client-side secret.

Here are a couple of existing features on Android that will be improved with the P release:

  • Autofill
  • Battery life

Now, take a quick look at what’s new for the developers in Android P. Technical details are available on the official Android Developers blog

  • ART performance enhancements
  • Optimized Kotlin
  • Improved app compatibility through public APIs
  • Indoor positioning with Wi-Fi RTT
  • Support for Multi-camera API
  • ImageDecoder for bitmaps and drawables
  • Support for HDR VP9 Video and HEIF image compression as well as enhanced Media APIs
  • Expanded Neural Networks APIs

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