Android P has already been available as a Developer Preview for sometime. But that was just Oreo with a few back-end API changes. At the Google I/O 2018, the first proper beta release was announced.
Which includes different sorts of visual changes and some features that represent what will actually be seen when Android P is released.
Also, the OTA update will hit your Pixel 2 XL after signing up for the Beta Program.
Join me as i take you through the good features of this new Android OS.
Amazing Gesture Navigation
Already, Google was rumored to move to gesture navigation in Android P, and it finally came true. Although this feature isn’t enabled by default, this release is developer-focused.
Swiping up to get into a multitasking view feels natural and more active than before. You’ll get a full view of apps in a carousel, which makes it easier to quickly identify apps and launch them.
Also, the ability to copy text while in multitasking view is a clean addition. There’s a quick swipe feature right on the home button, and it’s ability to switch between apps is fantastic.
There are indications that the back button won’t be shown by default when you enable gesture navigation. It’ll only appear when an app can make use of it. Google seems to be thinking about how it can improve the experience of the back button in the Android OS.
Addition of New Animations
Animations and transitions are one of the things that gives a phone its swagger. Android P has made an inclusion of more obvious and longer animations through-out the interface.
This feature is more obvious in the new gesture-based multitasking interface. Apps and windows zoom in and out of frame. This seems like an improvement.
Battery life and Controls
Rumor has it that Google is working to improve battery life in the next Android OS. The recently added “Adaptive Battery” feature uses AI to watch how you use apps.
Which will automatically adjust how those apps can use power, depending on how often you make use of them. For example an app that you don’t use frequently may not have full access to use power at any time. Meanwhile, others made use of sometimes will only get access when you have enough battery in reserve.
In addition, apps frequently made use of will be given priority no matter your charge level.
The main Battery settings are also more useful for giving you few bits of useful information you need. No more confusing graphs and charts. There’s an overall display of how your battery health is, and information on how long your battery lasts.
Also, the Battery Saver mode allows you set it to enable automatically, anywhere between 75% and 5% of battery power.
Pressing the volume keys, the volume slider pops up. This also controls media volume by default, because there’s no need to change the notification\ringer volume frequently. Furthermore, flip the device face-down on a table and the entire system will be silenced.
The device learns how you set your brightness in different lighting conditions, and starts making use of those brightness levels automatically.
When you rotate your phone to landscape, you’ll find a small icon in the bottom-right corner of the status bar. You’ll tap this to confirm the rotation of your screen. Turning back to portrait? then, still do the same.
Now you have rotation when you need it. Also, there’s no accidental flipping around when you just want to move your hand momentarily.
A Better Do Not Disturb mode
The new Android P takes “Do Not Disturb” very serious. Do Not Disturb hides all audible and visual disturbances by default.
This include the ambient display, the full notification shade, notification dots and status bar notification icons. You can still turn them back on. But the default settings Google gives you is to actually not disturb you when in Do Not Disturb mode.
From all indications, the first Android P Beta build is not stable enough to be used on a daily basis. Multi-window mostly crashes the phone’s launcher, also, lots of apps crash unexpectedly (including many in-built).
It’s not advisable to recommend installing this first beta release on your Smartphone yet. But I know it’ll improve with time.