Google often uses alphabet letters to name its Android versions and it’s clear that the company is fast making its way down the line. The next dessert in line is known as Android P, which is all we know with respect to the name.
The third developer preview is already out for Google Pixel and Pixel 2 users and since we now know quite a lot regarding the successor to Android 8 Oreo, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about it in this article. Also, it’s worth noting that it is DP3 that has given us the first proof that the upcoming OS will be Android 9.
In a nutshell
- Android P is the next Android OS
- No official name yet (could be called Pie, or Pumpkin Pie)
- First Android P Developer Preview 1 (DP1) was released on March 8, DP3 on June 6
- Android P Public beta 2 released on June 6
- Official release pegged for August 2018
What will Android P be called?
For years now, Google names its Android OS versions after sweet puddings and alphabetically as shown below:
- Android Cupcake
- Android Donut
- Android Eclair
- Android Froyo
- Android Gingerbread
- Android Honeycomb
- Android Ice Cream Sandwich
- Android Jelly Bean
- Android KitKat
- Android Lollipop
- Android Marshmallow
- Android Nougat
- Android Oreo
As far as we know, the next version of Android OS will be Android P. What’s your guess? Whether “P” will stand for Pancake, Pie, Peppermint, Pineapple or whatever name, your guess is as good as ours, but it’s already confirmed that it’ll be version 9.0.
What the rumors say about the name
While we don’t have an official name for Android P, we do have some hints about what it could be called. Apparently, there’s talk of Android Pie, something that surfaced after it was found (via Mishaal Rahman) that new commits in AOSP that referred to the next version of Android as “Android Pi.” Since there’s no dessert that goes by this name, the general consensus is that this could be a placeholder for Android Pie.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 17, 2018
Given that we’ll possibly have to wait until the summer before Google reveals the official name of Android P, you better fasten your seatbelt because more of these speculations on the name is on the way.
When is Android P 9.0 rolling out?
The first developer preview of Android P was released on March 8, 2018, making it the earliest we’ve seen a new Android OS, even earlier than last year’s March 21st release.
As you may know, the developer preview is limited to the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 phones. The developer preview is no longer limited to the Google Pixels as those using select non-Google devices can also join the party, but the Nexus 6P and 5X sit out this time around. However, this has only been possible since the Google I/O 2018 on May 8, which is when the DP2 and first public beta were announced.
Google has further released the third developer preview and second public beta, whose OTA updates started rolling out on June 6, as promised by the company.
While still at it, you might also be interested in checking out the following guides on how to install Android P beta on:
Android P 9.0 features to expect
Android P 9.0 is expected to be pick from where Oreo left by improving features that made their debut with Oreo as well as introducing a fair number of others, as highlighted below.
|Android P 9.0 feature (Expected)||Brief description|
|Material Design 2||Material Design was first introduced in 2014 alongside Android Lollipop. With Android P, Material Design will enter version 2.0, bringing along new colors, iconography as well as an emphasis on touch, among other wholesale changes.|
|Carriers will be able to hide signal strength from users||AOSP commits indicate that carriers will, starting with Android P, be able to hide the signal strength from the view of users.|
|Carriers will define how network signal bars are displayed||Carriers will be able to tweak the number of bars (5 signal bars) that is displayed on your phone. So, you may see 5 bars of LTE connection as an indicator that the signal strength is strong yet in real life, it isn’t.|
|Android P will remove access to hidden APIs||Android has a bunch of APIs that are hidden and officially not part of the SDK. Up to Android Oreo, developers can still access these hidden APIs to enable advanced features/shortcuts, but at times, they may cause issues when Android updates start rolling out. Hence, Android P will prevent developers from accessing them.|
|Wi-Fi Direct Printing, Bluetooth hearing aids and IoT||Android P may include support for Wi-Fi Direct Printing and Bluetooth hearing aids. In line with the growing love for the Internet of Things, the new OS is also expected to bring better integration with Android Things.|
|Adjust volume of connected Bluetooth devices individually||Prior to Android P, the volume of all Bluetooth devices connected to an Android phone can only be controlled as a whole. However, starting with Android P, it will reportedly be possible to adjust the volume of all connected devices (up to five, up from two) on an individual level. However, there is no simultaneous audio playback.|
|Volume rockers adjust media sound by default||In Android P, the default setting of the volume rockers is to adjust the sound of media, even if not playing. In Android O and before, the hardware volume button is set to control the call ringer volume by default.|
|Full Treble implementation||Android Oreo’s Project Treble is just the beginning of what is to be a very long journey to curb Android fragmentation. Android P is expected to take this journey to the next phase by fully implementing Treble.|
|Android P will prevent idle background apps from accessing the camera and microphone||Android P will prevent idle background apps from accessing the camera or even recording your activities using the microphone. Thus, when your display screen is turned off, malicious apps running in the background won’t be able to capture potentially harmful photos or record compromising discussions without your consent.|
|Android P will prevent apps from unnecessarily snooping on your phone logs||In Android P, Google is introducing new features that will prevent apps that don’t really need access to your phone logs from doing so. While apps still need permission from the smartphone owner to access phone logs, Google says the new tweak “gives users better control and visibility to apps that need access to sensitive information about phone calls, such as reading phone call records and identifying phone numbers.” Read more.|
|Still no Dark Mode||Despite years of requesting, it seems there still won’t be native Dark Mode when Android P goes official, which is a real shame for the search giant, especially since Apple already added a similar feature dubbed Night Shift to iOS back in 2016.|
|Built-in Systrace Android Studio tool for monitoring performance||Android P will come with a built-in Systrace (System Trace) Android Studio tool to help developers collect and inspect timing info across all system-level processes on a given device. This helps them get an idea of system resource usage.|
|Deeper Google Assistant integration and better support for atypical display types||Android P will include support for the multiple display types, including ones with a notch or foldable display screens like the rumored Samsung Galaxy X. Google will also let developers build Google Assistant right into their apps.|
|Call recording tone support for lawful recording of phone calls||Android P will include a call recording tone so that users can be able to record phone calls lawfully. What this means is that a caller will hear a certain tone when the recipient starts recording the ongoing conversation.|
|Support for Bluetooth HID device profile service||With this feature, Android P will let users turn their phones into a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse.|
|Enhanced call blocking features||Although apps like Truecaller are perfect for blocking calls from just about any number, Google wants this feature to be deeply integrated into Android P. Here, users will be able to block calls from private, unknown as well as pay phone numbers using the default Dialer app.|
|Wallpaper support to Google Pixel 2 Always on Display||While Google’s implementation of Always on Display on PIxel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is quite basic, Samsung has been upping the ante by adding features such as static wallpaper and basic GIF support. Well, Google could be working to bring wallpaper support to the Pixel 2 phones’ AOD through Android P. And who knows, maybe the Pixel 3 too.|
|Android P crashes non-responsive apps||When an app is not responding, Android P will crash it instead of telling you that the app is not responding. In short, you will no longer see those App Not Responding dialogue boxes when an app hangs.|
|Calendar events now appear on the lockscreen and ambient display||In Android P, it seems Google wants to bring as much useful information to the forefront as possible. Apparently, some users are seeing a new nifty addition to both the lockscreen and ambient display. If you have a scheduled upcoming event in your Calendar app, it will show up on the lockscreen or ambient display.|
|Predictive Settings||Android P might get predictive settings feature known as Settings Suggestions to automate settings that are frequently toggled.|
|Automatic color mode||With Android Oreo came three color modes of Natural, Boosted, and Saturated. However, it seems Google wants to add a fourth option dubbed Automatic. Given all there is about machine learning and AI, it’s likely that this feature – alongside the above on settings suggestions – will have a lot to do with this technological trend.|
|New Recent apps menu||With the introduction of gestures, the Recents button is gone. Also gone is the vertical recent apps’ switcher and in comes a horizontal app switcher and in fact, this feature is now part of the launcher. You also get the option to “Clear all” apps in the recents menu in one tap.|
|Android Auto Wireless||All Android P devices will gain support for Android Auto Wireless that was announced at the CES 2018. Some non-Google devices running Android Oreo will also receive this functionality at some point.|
|In-line photos and smart replies||With Android P, Google has basically built its Reply app right into the OS. It’s also possible for developers to add support for displaying inline photos and stickers.|
|Screenshot editing||Android P lets you edit the screenshots you capture|
|Zoom lens for selecting text||When you select text on Android P, you will get a nice magnified view of the selected text just above your finger, much like it already happens on iOS.|
|Track app notifications||Android P will allow users to track down annoying notifications in a bid to cut down on spam, if you have such issues|
|Vibration when you pull down notification panel||Still on notifications, Android P now makes the phone vibrate when you pull down the notification tray.|
|Hide frequently dismissed notifications||Android P will detect the notifications you frequently dismiss and offer to hide them from you.|
|Gesture controls||Like iPhone X, Android P users are now able to use gestures in place of the usual button-based system. We have a coverage on how the new gestures compare to the button-based system here.|
|Power menu has a screenshot option||Capturing a screenshot on Android can be a real hassle, especially where it involves a combination of hardware buttons. Android P hopes to make things easier by including a screenshot option on the power menu.|
|App Actions||Introduced at the Google I/O, App Actions borrow a few notes from the Pixel Launcher’s app predictions, only that they are better by including recommendations for your next action. However, developers still have to work on this for their specific apps.|
|Volume slider pops up on the side of the screen||Like it happened with the power menu that now shows up on the side of the display screen, Android P now displays the volume slider right next to the volume rockers when you press the buttons. From the screen, you can mute, adjust the volume or go to the sounds settings menu. The new interface also displays the volume of your Bluetooth devices, making it easy to adjust if needed.|
|Time now displays on the left of the status bar||Given that notch are seemingly here to stay, Google opted to move time to the left side of the status bar in order to give OEMs room to include the notch.|
|Ambient display now shows battery percentage||Android P now displays the battery percentage on the ambient display, meaning you don’t have to touch anything in order to know your phone’s battery status. Also, all notifications displayed on the ambient display are centered.|
|Android P now supports Unicode/Emoji 11.0||Android P beta 2 and DP3 bring support for the latest Unicode/Emoji 11.0 standard that includes 157 additional emoji and several visual tweaks to others from the previous OS. Read more.|
|There’s a camera laser sensor toggle in developer options||A good number of phones not only rely on phase detection autofocus, but also laser autofocus when trying to deliver the best of photography. At times, the laser can get in the way when taking a snap, which is why Android P now includes a toggle for enabling and disabling the laser autofocus sensor.|
Please Google, Pixel features for all
As usual, improvements to some of the best features that debuted with Android Oreo, like the Picture-in-Picture feature, are also expected. Also, Android P should pick up from where Oreo left and up the battery life and general performance of Android devices.
While we can go on all day with the list of features we expect Android P 9.0 to bring over Oreo, there’s one major thing that Google needs to address. Over the recent past, the company has made some features exclusive to its Pixel phones. With Android P, it’s our wish that all Android phones get the luxury of enjoying all features out of the box.
By ‘out of the box’ we mean everything that Google adds to the OS, including those little gems usually hidden in incremental upgrades under the claim that they can only work with Pixels because of the phones’ hardware as well as the basic stuff such as the Pixel Launcher.
Of all the Pixel exclusive features, the first that comes to mind is the Unlimited original quality storage for Photos. Though, we highly doubt it will become available for all phones, because this is really huge, and something that pixel need for themselves only to gain an advantage over the likes of iPhone X and Galaxy S9.
Of course, we don’t expect Android P to bring Active Edge and such-like hardware-dependent features to all compatible phones, but for sure, Google can do better.
Will your phone get Android P 9.0?
The question that perhaps many are asking is whether their phones will be upgraded to Android P 9.0. Well, this will depend on your manufacturer as well as the type of phone you have. For now, you can only be guaranteed an update to Android P 9.0 if you have any of the latest flagship phones (2017 and 2018) from the major vendors.
These include the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, LG G6, Huawei P10, Huawei Mate 10, Sony Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ1, Moto Z2 and Asus ZenFone 5Z, among others, are guaranteed to receive Android 9.0 as an OTA.
It’s also safe to assume that most midrange phones that come preinstalled with Android Oreo will also be upgraded to Android P when the stable version rolls out, but there’s no guarantee whatsoever.
While Android P stable should be rolled out to the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 somewhere in August 2018, those using non-Google devices can expect the same treat somewhere in Q4 2018 and beyond. Nokia has done a great job with its first Android phones and has, in fact, promised that all of them will be upgraded to Android P.
You can expect the HMD Global to be among the first non-Google OEMs to roll out Android P for its Nokia devices, which also goes with the OnePlus, HTC, Huawei, and Sony, with the likes of LG, Samsung, Xiaomi, etc. following the suit towards the end of the year or in early 2019.