Android P: all the new features


Google is fresh off the stage announcing the latest update to its globetrotting Android platform, the eventual 9.0 version, dubbed lovingly... still P (Google keeps us in suspense). While a lot of the new features that it showed today were simply ones from the latest public beta, explained in more details, there was a certain tension which ones from the beta will make it into the final release, and will there be any surprises.

After all, support for the new notch-y design paradigm is not something you liked in a recent poll of ours, and yet we hoped that Google keeps it, since there are plenty of such handsets already on the market, and the implementation of what's shown in the horns is far from perfect still.

We are glad to report on both counts - most of the nice features that we already previewed in the beta are carried over for the retail update, but there is some completely new stuff to marvel at as well. We have compiled all of the user-facing new Android 9.0 P features in a convenient list for your viewing pleasure below:

Adaptive battery


Thаt's not the biggest thing announced today, and is a feature that has been on Android overlays for ages, yet Google implementing it on a system level means is likely to really bring battery life improvements. The system will prevent apps from going rogue on power draw, and Google cited a 30% reduction in CPU wake lock, which is arguably the biggest drag on battery life this side of the display... and Pokemon GO.


Navigate with swipes... and a home indicator


In a follow-the-trend mentality, upcoming Android phones of the Google Pixel or Android One variety, will have a new home bar indicator at the bottom - you know, like on the iPhone X, but a bit shorter. Recent app button duties are taken over by a swipe-up gesture, again very familiar one. Swiping on the elliptical indicator serves as a scroller, but there is still a back key on the new nav bar.


Manual rotation


Those annoying auto-rotates can now be a thing of the past. Rotating the screen can be manual now, too, with an indicator at the navigation bar to tap on.



App actions


App Actions are similar to what Huawei tries to do with the AI on its phones, but taken on an Android system level. The OS predicts what you'll do next, or do most often, and loads it for instant access in the background beforehand. When you connect your headphones to your device, for instance, the system will prompt you to resume your Spotify playlist, for instance, pretty cool, but doesn't work in third-party apps just yet, it seems.



Slices


Would you like to be able to pop a part of an app right when you need it most? Slices do just that, giving you an even deeper look into your favorite apps, says Google. The example given was with ride-sharing. Search for "Lyft," and a Slice will surface that gives you the price and time for a trip to work, and you can even tap on it to finish the booking.



Digital wellbeing


From the makers of one of the most addictive digital products, namely YouTube and Android, comes the so-called Digital Wellbeing project in Android P. It consists of Dashboard that shows you how you use your device, like time spent in apps, phone unlocks, or notifications that demanded your attention, so you know where to cut. The App Timer option can set a timer for app usage, even discoloring the icon when your limit is exhausted. There's a fresh DND regime mode that stops all call or notification sounds, and even the pop-up previews that appear when you get new ones. The Wind Down feature does all three - turns on Night Light at the evening, rushes in the DND mode, and even gets your display in grayscale when nappy time approaches. There's a gesture for all that, too - turn your phone over on a surface, and it will automagically enter the Digital Wellbeing mode, sweet.

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33 Comments

1. Busyboy

Posts: 731; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Seems like Android is slowing turning into iOS, and vice-versa.

2. gamehead unregistered

How so?

5. deleon629

Posts: 451; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

Notches, for starters. Followed by the app switch gestures, or "lines" as they call it, in addition to overall effort & time invested into the glamorization of redundant wallpapers. There's a subtle push for the association of vanilla functionality as the standard of what premium Android phones should look like, when Android has always been distinguished for its customization-friendly interface. The Pixel 2-even with all its obvious flaws-was still heralded by *cough*payola*cough* tech reviewers and the fact that no ones openly questioned it should raise eyebrows.

9. gamehead unregistered

Essential phone had a notch before the iPhone X (although nowhere near as big). Gestures maybe.

10. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1377; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Except gestures have been around in various launchers since at least 2012, so definitely not that either.

24. hf199

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Gestures were around with Palm Pre phones and Blackberry 10

15. boucha26

Posts: 50; Member since: Jul 01, 2015

lol. but everyone following iphonex's notch. and they comparing the notch with iphonex. (source - watch zefone keynote )

14. totokg

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

gestures was on webOS yearssssss ago (youtube it), it was supposed to be the most flowing intuitive mobile os, but it didnt fly...

31. Kratos147

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 11, 2016

Yeah Apple thug his way in and stole that one.

19. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Android is the new iOS.....lol Google blatantly copying Apple and yet here we are trying to cover it up with various bs comments. That gesture thing is totally unnecessary for Android, why google why?? This is like a big fat joke. OMG!

22. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Gestures existed in BB10 and WebOS along with several android launchers, so good on Apple for finally catching up and Google for making it an official feature. Also, Android hasn't been crashy and buggy for a while so I don't see how it is becoming iOS.

25. hf199

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Apple is always playing catch up. The same happened with multi-tasking and wireless charging. The reason why people think it's cool now is because of the millions of Apple phone owners who never knew or cared about these functions until they hit there Apple phones!!!!!!

30. Kratos147

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 11, 2016

A notch is not a "feature".

4. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Lol didn't see that at all. Google is actually innovating. There's a difference.

12. jonathanfiuwx

Posts: 179; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

Lol or android is slowly turning into webos, which inspired iPhone x

23. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well they did hire Lord Duarte, the Mastermind behind WebOS, so this was more than expected.

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

It hardly matters, if one company finds inspiration from another and vice-versa, then we as consumers benefit. I love all the updates, the OS is only getting more and more incredible.

3. gamehead unregistered

I couldnt finish that conference. Too much AI talk

21. peace247 unregistered

to all those whining over the new gesture, u can disable that.

6. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

I think Android and IOS take pages from each others playbooks. Both OS's are very mature at this point. Android being in development since 2005 and IOS 2007: anything at this point is refinement and tweaks. Major improvements and revolutionary features are far and few between.

7. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

I'm not liking the new recent screen. That is straight up Apple like and from a UI standpoint that's regression.

8. Hollowmost

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

With P , Andoid becomes far ahead the basic operating system ' iOS ' ..

11. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1377; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Definitely is taking the lead these days. Now if only rapid updates by OEMs becomes a reality, Android is heading to a even more promising future.

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Google definitely took a page or 10, outta Apple’s iOS book with this update. Those gestures are kinda blatant.

17. wesley.

Posts: 209; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Stuff this. No stock Android for me.

18. babyk

Posts: 379; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

i dont see how apple can recover from this its like google is taking over the entire planet with android

20. KingSam

Posts: 1425; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Say what you will but Android p is looking pretty sweet.

33. Kratos147

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 11, 2016

People will complain about anything new these days.

26. hf199

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Apple is always playing catch up. The same happened with multi-tasking and wireless charging, and gestures. The reason why people think it's cool now is because of the millions of Apple phone owners who never knew or cared about these functions until they hit there Apple phones!!!!!!

27. japkoslav

Posts: 1499; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Oh, I can't wait to get the update and turn those swipes off. Thank you I like my phone quick and accurate not with some stupid gestures.

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