Android P Developers Preview is coming

Android P Developers Preview is Already Here

Both mobile app developers and tech bloggers were expecting Google to announce the next version of Android mobile OS at its I/O developer conference in May. But Google surprises everybody by releasing first Android P Preview in March. Google made Android P Developer Preview 1 available to mobile app developers for development, testing, and feedback. The developers can run Android P Developer Preview 1 on their Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. The information released by Google indicates that the Android 9.0 P will not be massive update. But it will still compete with iOS 12 by providing a number of new features and APIs.

Brief Overview of the New Features and APIs in Android P Developer Preview 1

An Overhauled Notification Panel

Like its predecessors, Android P will also feature a redesigned and overhauled notification panel. The all new notification panel will display more informative and interactive notifications from various messaging apps. In addition to containing images, the notifications will appear in context of conversations. Also, the panel will allow users to save their replies as drafts and facilitate SmartReply by suggesting a number of relevant replies.

New Notification Channels

Android P complements the overhauled notification panels with a number of notification channels. The developers can take advantage of the new notification channels to create user-customizable channel for each type of notification. They even have option to block specific channels, send broadcast intents, and meet do not disturb requirements simply by changing notification channel settings.

ImageDecoder

Android P simplified image decoding by providing a new ImageDecoder. The ImageDecoder allows generate a Bitmap or a Drawable directly from a file, URL, or byte buffer. It even enables developers to draw the Bitmap or Drawable without using additional APIs. Instead, they can create the Bitmap or Drawable by using specific methods. They even have option to use the methods to set image properties and use AnimatedImageDrawable class to create image animations.

An Improved JobScheduler

Android P also comes with an improved JobScheduler which handles network-related jobs according to current network status signals. The JobScheduler allows developers to specify signal prefetching, estimated data size, and detailed network requirements while creating individual jobs. Based on the specifications, Android P will handle individual jobs according to the available network status signal – unmetered and congested.

A New Autofill Framework

Android P will make it easier for users to fill outs forms in various mobile apps by providing a new autofill framework. The autofill framework leverages the improved autofill services provided by Android P. Also, it speeds up information submission process by suggesting autofill information based on a number of metrics – datasets selected by the user, datasets ignored by the user, and fields in the dataset changes by the user.

Multi Camera Support

Most Android devices nowadays come with multiple cameras. But the users have to access these cameras through pre-installed camera apps. Android P comes with native support for multiple cameras. Hence, the users can access streams from multiple cameras simultaneously while using a device powered by Android P. The multi-camera API will even enable users to avail features like zoom and bokeh within the camera sections of supported apps.

Indoor Navigation

Android P supports Wi-Fi RTT (Round-Trip-Time) protocol natively. While doing  Android app development for Android P, developers can take advantage of Wi-Fi RTT protocol to enhance user experience by identifying their indoor positioning. The can even take advantage of the RTT APIs provided by Android P to add include innovative features in the mobile app like in-building navigation and fine- grained location-based services.

Support for HDR and HEIF

Android P comes with native support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) and HEIF image compression.  The High Dynamic Range (HDR) VP9 Profile 2 support enables users to stream HDR-enabled movies from popular online sources like YouTube and Play movies. At the same time, the built-in support for HEIF will enable developers to speed up mobile apps by compress images significantly without impacting their quality.

Security Updates

Android P comes with an array of new and improved security features to protect the mobile device and apps. It allows developers to create mobile apps that authenticate users based on fingerprint authentication. The developers even have option to design custom fingerprint authentication dialogs for their mobile apps. Android P further keeps mobile devices secured by implementing StrongBox Keymaster which is designed as a self-contained module and resides in the hardware security module.

Enterprise Features

Google includes a set of new features in Android P to cater the needs of enterprise users. Android P comes with a redesigned user interface that allows users to keep their personal and work apps separated. Also, the user can switch between his personal and work profiles seamlessly, turn on or off the work profile, lock work apps to the device’s screen, receive event notifications, suppress error dialogs. The new features will make the upcoming version of Android compete with iOS devices in the virtual work environments.

However, Google will release several developer preview versions of Android P before rolling out the next edition of its popular mobile operating system officially. Hence, the official version of Android P may not include some of the features and APIs included in the first developer preview. Also, Google has released Android P Developer Preview 1 only for testing and evaluation processes. The users must remember that first developer preview version of Android P is still incomplete and has many bugs.

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