The 5 biggest feature changes from the Android P developer preview

Joshua Bennett
March 9, 2018

Google on Wednesday announced Android P is now available through its developer program. The company today released the first developer preview of Android P.

There's always a chance that Google changes its mind and pushes Android P to the two 2015 Nexus phones, but don't bet on it.

This is all very standard, as these devices are promised two years of feature updates from the date they're released, and an additional year of security updates.

Android P will also restrict the access to the mic, all the SensorManager sensors from the apps that are idle and also the camera. While the iPhone X's notch is probably its most controversial design choice, we've seen a slew of Android OEMs copy the design trend.

Before the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and the Pixel 2 XL, there's the Nexus line that has introduced a number of Android devices.

The new OS would also have built-in support for more video and image codecs, including HDR VP9 Profile 2 and HEIF (heic). So, users can access multiple streams at the same time from more than one physical camera. Additionally, messaging apps can now show images in notifications, save replies as drafts when the notification is closed, and use suggested replies like the full messaging app.

Before heading on to the process of flashing the update, Google does prompt users to create a backup of the phone since installing a system image on a device removes all data on it.

Both devices still have a large development community and we expect developers to put together stable Android P ROMs for both devices. In early June, developer preview 3 will include final APIs and the new SDK.

We plan to update the preview system images and SDK regularly throughout the preview.

Android P, official name unknown as of right now, is set to deliver several notable changes to Google-branded devices and, at some point down the road, devices from third-party manufacturers like Samsung and HTC. It also brings indoor positioning via Wi-Fi RTT which is also known as 802.11mc. Google has made the first preview exclusively available by manual download and flash, to warn that the preview is exclusively for developers, and not intended for consumer use.

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