On the eighth day of May, Google announced its Android P, the latest software version of the world’s most famous operating system. Millions of Android users were excited to know about Android P Developer Preview 2, which is now available with a lot of new features and UI changes. Before the event, we made some guesstimates and expectations about the Android P; while some expectations were fulfilled, others were surprises for us. After using the latest version of Android for a couple of days, it’s now reasonable to share my experiences with the new Android P. Take a look at the new Android P features and tell us which feature you like the most.
If you are using Pixel devices and other flagship Android smartphones like Essential, Nokia, OnePlus, Sony and others, you can experience Android P Beta. Earlier, Android Beta was available only for Pixel and Nexus devices; but now, other leading phones can download the Beta version of Android. Among the many cool features of Android P 9.0, Google highlights three areas viz. Intelligence, Simplicity, and Digital Wellbeing. Read this article and explore some favorite and hidden features of Android P 9.0.
New Android P Features You Should Know
For any smartphone user, battery life is the primary concern. Thankfully, Google has laid particular emphasis on this issue and come up with the Adaptive Battery. As the name suggests, this feature gets to know which app or service you are frequently using and supplies power accordingly. For example, if you are using WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram too often in a day, these apps will get more battery supply, and other dormant apps will get a low or minimum power supply. The DeepMind technology will prioritize the battery power for active and inactive apps/services on your device.
Like an intelligent battery, Android P is also packed with intelligent display sense that quickly learns your display preferences. The Android P works on two levels: its artificial intelligence considers ambient lighting and also checks your habit of setting the brightness of the phone screen. When it learns your pattern, the operating system will automatically change the brightness of your phone’s display to match your brightness preferences.
Smart Suggestions for App Actions
App Actions is another smart feature Android P offers its powerful artificial intelligence. The AI keeps an eye on your usage pattern, and quickly understands which action are you going to take next. Based on its inspection, Android P delivers you smart suggestions. For example, when you connect headphones to your smartphone, Google knows which playlist you like the most and offers suggestions to play those songs. This App Action is integrated into Launcher, Smart Text Selection, Play Store, Google Search app, and the Google Assistant.
Busy professionals would love this feature of App Slices in Android P. One of the benefits of App Slices is that you can get a deeper look at your favorite apps. For example, when you search apps like Uber or Ola, the Slices will offer you options like book your cab; moreover, you can also choose your saved locations like Home and Work. You can also check the prices from the search field.
Better Notifications Management System
The artificial intelligence of Google has a widespread effect on the Android P. To improve your notifications management, Google’s AI studies your habit of interacting with notifications. If you tend to ignore some notifications from certain apps, the Android P gives you an option to mute such notifications from that app right inside the app notification.
Gestures are introduced to simplify your interaction with Android. To enable gesture mode: Settings → System → Gestures → Swipe up on Home button and enable. Next, the Pill icon has replaced your normal navigation buttons. Now your Pill icon will help you take you Home, enable multitasking view, launch app drawer, switch between recent apps, and switch to the most recent app.
In case you want to go back inside an app, you can use the back button to the left of Pill icon.
One of the best gestures introduced in Android P is Shush Mode. Simply put your phone in a facedown manner and Do Not Disturb mode is enabled automatically. This is the easiest way to concentrate on your work.
The Digital Wellbeing is the overview of your smartphone usage and how you can control your smartphone usage with the help of some useful features.
#1. Android Dashboard
How do you use your smartphone? Are you a careless user? Get answers to such questions from Android Dashboard in Developer Preview 2 of Android P. Basically, and this Android Dashboard shows you how you spend time on your phone; for example, the time you spend on apps, number of times you have unlocked your device, number of notifications you receive, etc. The dashboard also tells you which app consumes a lot of your time.
#2. App Timer
Once you know how much attention a particular app gets from you, it is easier for you to set app timer to limit the app usage. For example, you can set a limit of 30 minutes on a particular app, and when you have used the app for 25 minutes, the app timer will send a hint that you are closer to your time limit. You will be reminded of your goal after the time limit expires; your app icons will be grayed out.
#3. Do Not Disturb
Pay your 100% attention to your job or task without getting distracted by notifications, phone calls or screen lights. Do Not Disturb mode is improved to increase your productivity. When you are doing your chores under dim light, visual interruptions on your phone screen disturb you. With this new Do Not Disturb mode, your phone will not ring or vibrate; moreover, it will not light up when you receive any notification.
#4. Wind Down
At the end of the day, you need some rest. Your smart Android phone knows it if it is running Android P. Thanks to Wind Down feature, you can set a time-based command to turn on Night Light, turn on Do Not Disturb, and fade the screen to grayscale. This is an indication for you to take sound sleep!
#5. Starred Contacts
When you enable Do Not Disturb mode on your Android device, nobody can contact you. But if some close friend or relative needs your attention (they may be in some dire situation), they should be able to reach you. You can enable starred contacts to allow your priority contacts to bypass the Do Not Disturb mode and reach you. In addition to this, a repeat caller can break this barrier of Do Not Disturb. This means if a caller is not on your priority list, s/he can reach you by calling you repeatedly. You will never lose an urgent call in your life.
UI Changes in Android P
There are many UI changes Google has introduced in its latest Android P.
#1. Paginated Quick Settings Panel is back
In its Android P Developer Preview 1, Google has removed this paginated quick settings panel and put a scrolling list. However, in this Android P Developer Preview 2, the search engine giant has brought the feature back.
#2. Volume Menu
The new volume menu allows you to mute your phone or put it on vibrate mode without unlocking the device. Moreover, the slimmer profile of volume menu adds to the aesthetics of your phone display.
You can enable this action from Settings → Sound → Shortcut to prevent ringing and choose if you want to enable vibrate or mute mode.
Next, you can press the power and volume up key to enable it no matter which screen you are on. The best part is that the feature works even as your phone is locked.
#3. Homescreen Rotation
Earlier, screen rotation was possible only when a user is using an app; it doesn’t exert any impact if the user is on Home screen. However, in Developer Preview 2 of Android P, users can rotate the home screen of their smartphones. When you rotate your phone, a button appears on the screen, and when users hit that button, they can change the orientation of the phone.
#4. Home screen menu by long pressing
When you long press on the home screen in the Developer Preview 2 of Android P, a menu appears on the screen. This is similar to that of power and volume menu. Earlier, users used to face fading home screen upon long pressing the home screen.
#5. The clock on the unlock screen
In previous Android version, when users unlock their phone with a PIN, password, or pattern, they would only see the blank screen with PIN/password field or dots to draw pattern. In this Developer Preview 2 of Android P, you will see a lock screen clock on the unlock screen of your smartphone.
#6. Refreshed Calling UI
The Decline and Answer buttons are more noticeable and well-defined in the Developer Preview 2 of Android P. Moreover, when you answer a call and press the volume button, you will see options to change call volume and media volume on the screen.
Apart from updates in the Android operating system, Google has introduced some useful changes in apps.
#1. Google Maps
There are four significant updates in Google Maps: Augmented Reality Directions, Suggested Places, Group Planning, and For You.
- Augmented Reality Directions: Matches the view from camera to the saved Street View image and help figure out where you want to go.
- Suggested Places: Uses machine learning to automatically match you with new places and venues around your town/city.
- Group Planning: It allows you to create shareable short links to coordinate plans with your friends.
- For You: Provide a customized view of trending places in areas near you or the areas you select to view.
#2. Google Assistant
In this new Developer Preview 2 of Android P, you will get six new voices; and the seventh voice is of John Legend. Besides, the update also includes ‘Continued Conversation,’ which eliminates the need for saying ‘Hey Google’ again and again. Multiple Actions enables users to ask complex questions with multiple queries. You can make your kids kind and respectful with ‘Pretty Please.’ Custom Routines lets users do multiple things with a single command. And ‘New Experiences’ is focused on giving better visual cues for your questions.
Google Duplex is a prominent feature of Android P Developer Preview 2. This will enable your Google Assistant to make calls on your behalf in the background and make some bookings and reservations. However, the feature is in its nascent stage, and it will take some time to be used by all.
#3. Google Photos
You can store all your memories in Google Photos. But that is a passé! What is new in Android P Developer Preview 2 for Google Photos?
- Suggested Actions: This feature automatically gives you the options to select a setting, action, or edit the image.
- Smart Edits: You can add style and adjust your images with some necessary edits; parameters are brightness, color temperature, and file types.
#4. Google Lens
Smart Text Selection is one of the best features introduced in Google Lens. By using this feature, you can extract and copy text from the physical objects using your phone’s camera.
Also check: How to Get Google Lens on Any Android Phone
With Style Match, you can point your phone’s camera at any object and find other similar objects.
Real-Time Results helps you point your phone camera at an object and get information about the same in real-time.
Which is your favorite Android P feature?
For the first time, I am impressed with Android OS update. Google has introduced some killer features that are highly practical and improve your productivity.