Google says there are hundreds of new features being added to Android P, which is usually par for the course, with most of those meant to remain behind-the-scenes and simply improve the overall experience for the end user. However, some of the features deserve time in the spotlight, which is why Google has put together a landing page to showcase some of the new additions.
Machine Learning is at the core of Android, especially Android P. With it, Google is introducing new elements to the platform which should help boost productivity and longevity of your Android smartphone. That includes things like Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness, with the latter actually learning how you like to set your display’s brightness level depending on where you’re located.
Adaptive Battery will learn how you use your device and make changes to address those predictions, which should help stretch out battery life. Based on the time of day, where you’re located, and other variables, the system will use context to suggest apps you’ll want to use. Tie that with features like App Actions, which will offer up actions based on other elements. For instance, connect some headphones and app actions might see the system suggest a specific playlist in Spotify.
The Adaptive Battery will see the system prioritize the apps and services you use the most on a daily basis, all with the end goal being to get you through to the end of the day without having to worry about topping up.
New navigation gestures are being introduced to Android P as well. Now when you are on the home screen you simply need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen where there is a Home icon (yes, similar to what Apple introduced on the iPhone X) for clarity. Once you swipe up you’ll get a clear look at your recently opened apps, letting you quickly switch between them.
Swipe up again and you’ll get to the app drawer.
As was rumored recently, Google also introduced a new wellbeing initiative aiming to help Android users see which apps they use, how often they use them, and maybe make some adjustments to break away. There is a new Dashboard which will show users how they are spending time on their phone, including the time spent in individual apps. It will even show users how many times they have unlocked their phone and a quick rundown of how many notifications they have received.
Do Not Disturb is getting improved and will stop any visual pop-up notifications from showing up on the screen, too. And now, if you turn your phone over so that the display is down, Do Not Disturb will turn on automatically. There is a new App Timer, which lets you put a time limit on how long you can use an app, and, once the limit is reached, the app icon will actually get grayed out.
Finally, you can use Wind Down to actually activate grayscale on the display, draining it of color. Do Not Disturb will also be switched on. Wind Down will let you activate a specific time to switch on and switch off, so that in the morning the features are deactivated.
One last thing: Android P has a beta that you can try right now. And Google opened up the supported devices list, so while the Pixel lineup is supported, so are devices from Sony, Vivo, Essential, and others. Here is the list:
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Oppo R15 Pro
- Vivo X21
- OnePlus 6
- Essential PH‑1
So, what do you think of Android P’s newest features?