Google releases first developer preview of Android P

Thursday 8 March 2018 | 08:46 CET | News

Google has released the first developer preview of the next version of Android. More details of Android P will be announced at Google I/O in May, and the OS update is expected to launch on devices late this year. 

Some of the new features of Android P include a new format for messaging notifications, with more space to see who is messaging, add replies and images and even use smart replies. 

Google also added support for a 'display cutout', where a small part of the screen may be taken up by a notch for the camera, as on the latest iPhone. With Android P, developers will be able to adapt how their apps appear on-screen to get around this feature.

Android P also comes with the IEEE 802.11mc Wi-Fi protocol, known as WiFi Round-Trip-Time, to enhance indoor positioning features in apps. The apps can use RTT APIs to measure the distance to nearby Wi-Fi access points, without having to connect to the APs, and then triangulate a user's position. 

The new multi-camera API allows users to access streams simultaneously from two or more cameras on the device. On devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras, users can create new features such as seamless zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision. The API also supports a camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras. 

For image processing, Android P adds support for HDR VP9 Profile 2, so users can deliver HDR-enabled movies to YouTube, Play Movies and other sources on HDR-capable devices. In addition, HEIF (heic) image encoding helps improve photo compression to save on storage and network data. 

Android P also comes with the Neural Networks API in Android 8.1 to accelerate on-device machine learning. Google said it's expanded and improved this API, adding support for nine new ops. In addition, Android P adds an implementation of the GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API. On supported devices, apps can use the OMAPI API to access secure elements to enable smart-card payments and other secure services. 

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