While many Android users may still be getting acquainted with Android Oreo, the next major update is already on its way. Currently known as Android P or Android 9.0, a handful of key features have already been revealed after the operating system was officially announced at Google I/O (Google's annual developer conference) early this May.
Can't wait to find out what Android P has in store? Let's dive in.
Google P Name and Release Date
The final name for Android P has yet to be released, but there are plenty of rumours flying around thanks to cryptic clues left by Google. It's more than likely the next operating system will be named after a sweet treat, sticking to Android's alphabetic theme. We've already had Marshmallow, Nougat and Oreo, to name a few
Internally, it's believed Google refer to Android P as Android Pistachio Ice Cream. However, Android Pineapple Upside-down Cake is also a favourite after an online puzzle led intrigued fans to an image of the dessert. Additionally, Google recently released a new series of spring wallpapers which features range of popsicles.
Whatever delicious name Android P uses, the operating system is expected to be launched sometime in August, with Google phones getting first dibs on the download.
Android P New Features
How's Android P different from Oreo? Here's what we know so far:
Gestures and Navigation
The first thing you'll notice when you use Android P is an all-new home screen. The search bar has been moved to the bottom of the screen, the home button has been slimmed down into a pill-like shape and everything seems a little more curved: rounded corners are everywhere, from the notification tray to the Settings menu.
The home button works with a whole new set of navigational gestures too. Swipe up once to view recently used apps, twice to view all apps and swipe down to open the notification tray.
The Navigation Bar can also now be customised, offering users the chance to change the colour and the background. While not in the Beta version, Google has announced custom widgets can be added to the Navigation Bar as well.
Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness
Artificial Intelligence and on-device learning is set to be a major part of Android P, helping your phone to understand what you, as a user, like to do to make your overall smartphone experience much smoother.
Adaptive Battery is the first example of this. The feature is designed to adjust how energy is used, and improve your handset's overall battery life. It does this by learning which apps are used most frequently, which apps you're most likely to open next and by restricting battery use to those you hardly access.
Adaptive Brightness, meanwhile, uses AI to automatically adjust your screen's settings depending on both your personal preferences and environment. Once enabled, you'll hardly ever need to adjust brightness manually again.
Slices are a UI design-change, which will alter the way you use the search bar. Offering more information than before, saving you time. Let's say you open Uber, Android P won't just show you the app's icon - it'll pull up actions you can do inside the app too, like booking a ride to your saved locations like your home or workplace.
Dashboard, App Timer and Shush
At this year's Google I/O, wellness was a major theme. It's all too easy to spend hours and hours fixated on your smartphone's screen, and to help curb the addiction Android P will introduce users to Dashboard.
Dashboard is a central hub that will provide data on your activity. The analysis will show you exactly how much time you spend on your phone, how many times you've unlocked it, how long you've spend on individual apps like YouTube and Twitter and much more.
You can then use this data to set yourself time limits. Spending four hours per day on Facebook? Put a stop to it, by limiting yourself to just two. After you've used your allocated time, the app's icon will go grey and you won't be able to open it.
Shush is another feature which focuses on a user's wellbeing. Once enabled, you can activate Do Not Disturb mode quickly and easily - ideal for when you need to concentrate. Simply place your device face down, and all notifications and alarms will be silenced except those classed as emergencies.
New rotation and volume controls
Sometimes, small changes can make all the difference. With Android P, when you press the volume keys on your device you'll only adjust media volume, never ringer volume - a pesky issue for plenty of users.
You can also manually control screen rotation within certain apps too. We all know the irritating having to unlock screen orientation can be whenever you want to watch a video, only to forget afterwards and put up with the display flipping back and forth whenever you tilt it slightly. Now, screen rotation settings can be adjusted for specific apps. Tilt the screen to landscape, tap the icon that appears and lock the screen in that position for that particular app only.
Download Android P Beta
If you can't wait until August, certain handsets can download the Android P beta version right now to give it a test drive. The preview is likely to have some minor differences to the final version, and it's recommended all users backup their phones beforehand, as beta operating systems can often face a few issues here and there. You can currently download Android P Beta if you have a:
• Google Pixel and Pixel XL
• Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
• Nokia 7 Plus
• OnePlus 6
• Sony Xperia XZ2
• Vivo X21UD
• Vivo X21
• Oppo R15 Pro
• Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
• Essential Phone
Android P isn't far away, and you can be one of the first to experience it with either the Google Pixel or Google Pixel 2. Discover the best deals today, on Mobiles.co.uk.