Android P: All the new features and tools announced (so far)


Google's Android security patch for March now available for Nexus and Pixel devices

Google is adamant that this release is exclusively for developers at this point, so we don't suggest that you try downloading images right this instant to install on your personal Android device. Unlike past year, there is no emulator for testing Android Wear on Android P.

That means, for the third year in a row, Google is making a developer preview for the next version of Android available in March - months ahead of a consumer release in the autumn.

Google is releasing the first developer preview of the next major Android update, called Android P, today.

Other than that, the same rules apply.

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For now, it's a work-in-progress; not everything that will be in the final version of Android P is included and there are bugs aplenty - but it's a start. Just keep in mind that this update is intended for developers, so while you may be eager to try out the new features listed above, you might want to hold off on the Android P Developer Preview unless you've got a backup phone. While primarily used for IoT, Google says the platform now also supports video and audio processing applications and on-board machine learning using TensorFlow.

Multi-camera API: You can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras. Having more than one lens on a device has enabled manufacturers to make features like better bokeh effects, higher zoom capabilities or stereo vision to smartphones, but in the past the streams from the different lens have essentially been treated as one.

Message notifications have been improved, allowing for great visibility and interactions. You can show conversations, attach photos and stickers, and even suggest smart replies.

For more efficiency and productivity on the app side, JobScheduler will better network jobs for the user. Jobs can declare their estimated data size, signal prefetching, and specify detailed network requirements. "JobScheduler then manages work according to the network status", the post said.

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Indoor positioning with Wi-Fi RTT, or 802.11mc, is also new. Apps can take advantage of the space, and there will be APIs to manage content. Knowing the distance to 3 or more APs, you can calculate the device position with an accuracy of 1 to 2 meters. Now, with Android P, it's expanding and improving this API, with Neural Networks API 1.1. Developers and Android enthusiasts can now get it up and running on select devices. A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) provides the underlying API for enumerating a variety of Secure Elements (eSE, UICC, and others) available.

ART performance: ART's use of execution profiles has been expanded to optimize apps and reduce in-memory footprint of compiled app code. Google is also working with JetBrains to optimize Kotlin's generated code.

It's important to keep in mind, however, that Android P is in beta, and that a lot of things will break or be broken.

More details and information will be forthcoming during the development process. Google will also enable encryption of Android backups with a client-side secret. If you find any bugs, you can report them here.

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