Google is releasing a developer preview of its next version of Android in March. Dubbed Android P, this preview version is mostly targeted at the changes that will affect developers. But, what exactly it will bring to users is still unknown.
Below are some of the highlights on what's new for developers.
Android P offers support for the latest edge-to-edge screens with display cutout for camera and speaker. Developers can now find out the location and shape of the non-functional areas where content shouldn't be displayed. It will also allow developers to test apps to lay out content around a device's cutouts.
Android P will also bring a new notification look from messaging apps. Developers will now be able to include recent texts from your conversation, if you reply right inside the notification. This feature is similar to iMessage notifications. Apps will also be able to include ‘Smart replies’ images and stickers directly in the notification.
Android P adds platform support for the IEEE 802.11mc Wi-Fi protocol – also known as Wi-Fi Round-Trip-Time (RTT) – to let you take advantage of indoor positioning in your apps. On Android P devices with hardware support, app developers can use the new RTT APIs to measure the distance to nearby RTT-capable Wi-Fi Access Points (APs). According to Google, the result is typically accurate within one to two metres.
With this accuracy, developers can build new experiences like in-building navigation, fine- grained location-based services such as disambiguated voice control, for example ‘Turn on this light’, and location-based information, such as ‘Are there special offers for this product?
Android O introduced Notification Channels, allowing developers to create a user-customisable channel for each type of notification they want to display. Android P simplifies notification channel settings with these changes:
Blocking channel groups: Users can now block entire groups of channels within the notification settings for an app.
New broadcast intent types: The Android system now sends broadcast intents when the blocking state of notification channels and channel groups’ changes.
With the Android P, developers can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras. What this means is that on devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras developers can create innovative features not possible with just a single camera, such as seamless zoom, bokeh and stereo vision. The API also lets you call a logical or fused camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras.
Android P also enables support for external USB/UVC cameras on supported devices.
Android P adds built-in support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) VP9 Profile 2, so developers can now deliver HDR-enabled movies to users from YouTube, Play Movies and other sources on HDR-capable devices.
For security, Android P introduces a number of new security features, including a unified fingerprint authentication dialog and high-assurance user confirmation of sensitive transactions.