Android P: Google's Next Major OS

Android P is the 9.0 innovative upgrade of the Android operating system. Current mobile phone devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the LG G7 run on the Android 8.0 operating system, titled Oreo. The Android operating system is a proprietary of Google, and as such phone manufacturer's wishing to have Android installed must sign a contract with Google.

During Google's I/O developer's conference last month, they unveiled the Android 9.0 (P), and showcased a bevy of new and handy features that will continue to change the way that we use mobile phones. In addition to some of these major upgrades, there are minor adjustments that are being made to simplify the user interface (UI), making the act of performing certain tasks easier than it currently is.

 

DESIGN

  • Friendly User Interface: Android P brings with it a much cleaner look that aims to keep things as simple as possible, so as not to overwhelm users.
  • App shortcuts: Taking the app shortcuts one step further, now users will be able to create shortcuts to in-app actions as well. For instance, you could create a shortcut to Skype-calling a specific contact in your phonebook.
  • Message Magnifier: Previously when trying to edit a long message, you would have to fight with the design scheme in order to place the cursor in the exact spot. Android P now brings a magnifier to these cases, enlarging the message to better assist you in placing the cursor exactly where you want it to be.
  • Ambient Battery Display: The battery percentage icon will now display how much battery is left on the ambient screen.
  • Screen Shot Button: Long gone will be the days of having to hold down the power button and the reduce-volume button at the same time to take a screen shot. Android P will now come with an on-screen button that will perform the screen-shots, making it easier to use.

 

SECURITY

  • Two-Factor Authentication Messages: Now when an SMS or text message comes through with the 2FA code, simply tapping the message in the notification panel will automatically copy the code now, instead of needing to open up the message and hold your finger on the code like we currently do, saving critical time.
  • Better Security: Android P will introduce a secondary form of user confirmation when trying to perform sensitive tasks, such as making purchases.
  • Lockdown: Temporarily shut down the fingerprint and other biometric logins, to prevent others from breaking into your phone. Lockdown will require a code to deactivate.

 

SMART FEATURES

  • Gestures: There will be a range of new smart gestures that you can use to interact with the phone, though it's unclear just what you can do.
  • Battery: The new update brings a feature that will study and track your app usage habits, and begin to prioritise certain apps over others in order to preserve your battery life. Apps that you rarely use or don't use at all will receive limited system resources, whereas apps you use frequently will get more attention from the feature.
  • SMS Replies: Similar to the automatic or smart reply presets in the Gmail app, Android P will now provide quick-replies within text messages too. While Google also says that these presets will be extended to third-party apps, such as WhatsApp or Viber, it is up to the respective developers to allow or disallow this.

 

GPS

  • Indoor Tracking: While the GPS and location tracker currently does a great job in locating your outdoor coordinates, the next Android update promises to take the matter one step further. Indoor tracking will potentially be able to keep track of your whereabouts within a complex, which could also lead to public in-building navigation down the track. Useful for finding stores in large shopping malls and districts.

 

STATISTICS

  • Usage Stats: Android P will now keep and display stats from your phone usage, such as how many times you have woken the device, time duration that you have spent on each app, as well as other curious stats.
  • App Usage Timer: In addition to the stats, you will now be able to set your own timer for using apps, so that you can better monitor your time spent, and ensure that you are not on the app for longer than you need to be.

 

BRIGHTNESS

  • Adaptive Brightness: Android P will track your viewing habits and make automatic brightness adjustments on your phone to better suit you at specific times of day. It will remember when you increase the brightness in situations, or decrease it in others, and then it will try to successfully predict the right brightness levels for you in differing situations.
  • Wind Down: At night, this feature will kick in which reduces the contrast and brightness of your display, to allow for you to "wind down" with softer colours before bed to reduce eye strain. In the morning, the wind down will end and the colours will revert to normal.

 

Android P will launch in the back-half of this year, as it makes it debut on the next wave of Android mobile phones. At this stage, no specific phones has been announced as having Android P, due to Google not committing to a release date for the operating system.

Check back with here with a release date as that information becomes known.

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