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July 30, 2018

Android Pie, Here’s Everything You Should Know

By The Mobile 360 3 615 Views

Here Comes the big day Google finally announced the latest release of Android as ‘Android Pie’ on August 07th, 2018 — it is packed with artificial intelligence to make your device smarter, simpler and offer you a more tailored experience. 

Android P, is upcoming (overall Ninth) version of Android operating system which was announced by Google on 7th March, 2018. the company released first developer preview build of Android P, on the same day when it was announced. while, the second preview build was released on May 8th, 2018. The third preview build, called as Beta 2, was released for developers on June 6th, 2018. The fourth preview build, was called as Beta 3, was released on July 2nd, 2018. The final beta of Android P was released on July 25th, 2018.

Here’s overview of Android P features

  • New user interface for the quick settings menu.
  • The clock has moved to the left of the notification bar.
  • Battery saver no longer shows an orange overlay on the notification and status bars.
  • A “screenshot” button has been added to the power options.
  • A new “Lockdown” mode which disables biometric authentication once activated.
  • Rounded corners across the graphical user interface.
  • New transitions for switching between apps, or activities within apps.
  • Richer messaging notifications, where a full conversation can be had within a notification, full scale images, and smart replies akin to Google’s new app, Reply.
  • Support for display cutouts.
  • Redesigned volume slider.
  • Battery percentage now shown in Always-On Display.
  • Lock screen security changes include the possible return of an improved NFC Unlock.
  • Experimental features (which are currently hidden within a menu called Feature Flags) such as a redesigned About Phone page in settings, and automatic Bluetooth enabling while driving.
  • DNS over TLS.
  • HEIF support.
  • A new gesture-based system interface, similar to the one found on the iPhone X and other devices.
  • Redesigned, horizontal multitask app switcher with Google search bar and app drawer built in.
  • A “Digital Wellbeing” feature which discourages excessive usage of your phone.
  • Placing the phone face down will mute notifications but allow emergencies to come through.
  • An Adaptive Battery feature that maximizes battery power by prioritizing the apps you’re most likely to use next.
  • Improved Adaptive Brightness feature which modifies screen brightness based on your own personal preferences.
  • Always-On Display now hides notification.
  • New Back Button Icon in navigation bar.
  • Manual theme selection.
  • Rotation Lock button indicates in navigation bar.
  • Keyboard Switcher button shown in navigation bar when the keyboard is activated.

Here’s list of detailed Android P features



Indoor positioning with Wi-Fi RTT

  • Accurate indoor positioning has been a long-standing challenge that opens new opportunities for location-based services. Android P adds platform support for the IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol — also known as WiFi Round-Trip-Time (RTT) — to let you take advantage of indoor positioning in your apps.



Display cutout support

  • Now apps can take full advantage of the latest device screens with fullscreen content. the latest version of Android brings display cutout feature into the platform, along with APIs that can be used to manage how the content is displayed. Cutout support works seamlessly for apps, with the system managing status bar height to separate your content from the cutout.



Improved messaging notifications

  • Android P introduces several enhancements to notifications, all of which are available to developers targeting Android P and above. the new MessagingStyle notification now displays images in Messaging Notifications on phones. it also can show conversations, attach photos and stickers, and even suggest smart replies.

Multi-camera API

  • You can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras on devices running Android P. On devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras, you can create innovative features not possible with just a single camera, such as seamless zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision.
  • Other improvements in camera include new Session parameters that help to reduce delays during initial capture, and Surface sharing that lets camera clients handle various use-cases without the need to stop and start camera streaming. it also now supports newer APIs for display-based flash support and access to OIS timestamps for app-level image stabilization and special effects.

 In Android P the multi-camera API supports monochrome cameras for devices with FULL or LIMITED capability. Monochrome output is achieved via the YUV_420_888 format with Y as grayscale, U (Cb) as 128, and V (Cr) as 128.

  • Android P also enables support for external USB/UVC cameras on supported devices.
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HDR VP9 Video, HEIF image compression, and Media APIs

  • Android P adds built-in support for HDR VP9 Profile 2, so you can now deliver HDR-enabled movies to your users from YouTube, Play Movies, and other sources on HDR-capable devices.
  • We’re excited to add HEIF (heic) image encoding to the platform. HEIF is a popular format for photos that improves compression to save on storage and network data. With platform support on Android P devices, it’s easy to send and utilize HEIF images.

Data cost sensitivity in JobScheduler

  • JobScheduler is Android’s central service to help you manage scheduled tasks or work across Doze, App Standby, and Background Limits changes. In Android P, JobScheduler handles network-related jobs better for the user, coordinating with network status signals provided separately by carriers.

Neural Networks API 1.1

  • Neural Networks API was first introduced with Android 8.1 to accelerate on-device machine learning on Android. In Android P, it is expanded and improved adding support for nine new ops — Pad, BatchToSpaceND, SpaceToBatchND, Transpose, Strided Slice, Mean, Div, Sub, and Squeeze. If you have a Pixel 2 device, the Developer Preview 1 build now includes an Qualcomm Hexagon HVX driver with acceleration for quantized models.

Autofill improvements

  • Android P added support for newer APIs that allow password managers to improve the Autofill user experience, such as better dataset filtering, input sanitization, and compatibility mode. Compatibility mode in particular has a high impact on end users because it lets password managers take the accessibility-based approach in apps that don’t yet have full Autofill support, but without impacts on performance or security.

Open Mobile API for NFC payments and secure transactions

  • Android P adds an implementation of the GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API to Android. On supported devices, apps can use the OMAPI API to access secure elements (SE) to enable smart-card payments and other secure services. A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) provides the underlying API for enumerating a variety of Secure Elements (eSE, UICC, and others) available.

Security for apps

  • In an effort to move all network traffic away from cleartext (unencrypted HTTP) to TLS, Android P has changed the defaults for Network Security Configuration to block all cleartext traffic. You’ll now need to make connections over TLS, unless you explicitly opt-in to cleartext for specific domains. read more about it here.
  • In Android P, Google has added a Private DNS mode to the Network & internet settings. By default, devices automatically upgrade to DNS over TLS if a network’s DNS server supports it. But users who don’t want to use DNS over TLS can turn it off. Read more about it here.

Privacy for users

  • To better ensure privacy, Android P restricts access to mic, camera, and all Sensor Manager sensors from apps that are idle. While your app’s UID is idle, the mic reports empty audio and sensors stop reporting events. Cameras used by your app are disconnected and will generate an error if the app tries to use them. In most cases, these restrictions should not introduce new issues for existing apps.

ART performance

  • ART runtime brings performance and efficiency improvements to all apps. Android P has expanded ART’s use of execution profiles to optimize apps and reduce in-memory footprint of compiled app code. ART now uses profile information for on-device rewriting of DEX files, with reductions up to 11% across a range of popular apps. it is expected to correlate closely with reductions in system DEX memory usage and faster startup times for your apps.
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Optimized Kotlin

  • Kotlin is now an official language on Android. It’s expressive, concise, and powerful. Best of all, it’s interoperable with the existing Android languages and runtime. first-class language on Android. Kotlin is concise while being expressive. It contains safety features for nullability and immutability, to make Android apps healthy and performant by default. read more about kotlin here.

Power efficiency

  • Android P comes with refinement for Doze, App Standby, and Background Limits to further improve battery life.

Targeting modern Android

  • Android P is shaped for longer-term initiatives to modernize the foundations of Android and the apps that run on it. As announced recently, Google Play will require all app updates to target Android Oreo (targetSdkVersion 26 or higher) by November 2018, with support for 64-bit hardware on the horizon for 2019.
  • In line with these changes, Android P will warn users with a dialog when they install an app that targets a platform earlier than Android 4.2 (targetSdkVersion less than 17), and future platform versions will continue to increment that lower bound. Google is constantly encouraging every Android developer to start planning the migration to target API 26 as soon as possible.

Improving app compatibility through public APIs

  • A key issue for users and developers is app compatibility — making sure that apps are ready for new platform versions as they arrive, without risk of crashes for users and emergency rollouts for developers. Apps that use Android’s public APIs from the SDK or NDK are in a good position to be compatible, but apps that use private Android interfaces and libraries are not.
  • In Android P, Google has started a gradual process to restrict access to selected non-SDK interfaces, asking developers — including app teams inside Google — to use the public equivalents instead.

Removal of the Crypto provider

  • Crypto provider was deprecated beginning in Android Nougat. Since then, any request for the Crypto provider by an application targeting API 23 (Marshmallow) or before would succeed, but requests by applications targeting API 24 (Nougat) or later would fail. In Android P, Google has plan to remove the Crypto provider entirely. Once removed, any call to SecureRandom.getInstance(“SHA1PRNG”, “Crypto”) will throw NoSuchProviderException.

Android P makes a smartphone smarter, helping it learn from and adapt to the user. Your apps can take advantage of the latest in machine intelligence to help you reach more users and offer new kinds of experiences.



Adaptive Battery

  • Android P comes with Adaptive battery feature that optimizes how apps use battery. It was made in association with DeepMind, a world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact.

DeepMind, was founded in London in 2010 and backed by some of the most successful technology entrepreneurs in the world. Having been acquired by Google in 2014, it is now part of the Alphabet group.

  • Adaptive Battery uses machine learning to prioritize access to system resources for the apps the user cares about most. It puts running apps into groups with different restrictions using four new “App Standby buckets” ranging from “active” to “rare”. Apps will change buckets over time, and apps not in the “active” bucket will have restrictions in: jobs, alarms, network and high-priority Firebase Cloud Messages.

App Actions

  • App Actions use machine learning to surface just the right apps to users based on their context or recent interactions. Because Actions highlight your app where and when it’s most relevant, they’re a great way to reach new users and re-engage with existing users.

Simplicity

  • Android P puts a special emphasis on simplicity and is evolving Android’s UI to streamline and enhance user tasks.


New system navigation

  • Android P makes easier for user to access Home, Overview, and the Assistant from a single button on every screen. the new navigation simplifies multitasking and makes discovering related apps much easier. In the Overview, users have a much larger view of what they were doing when they left each app, making it much easier to see and resume the activity. The Overview also provides access to search, predicted apps, and App Actions, and takes users to All Apps with another swipe.
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Rotation

  • To eliminate unintentional rotations, Android P comes with a new mode that pins the current orientation even if the device position changes. Users can trigger rotation manually when needed by pressing a new button in the system bar.



Text Magnifier

  • Even with features like Smart Text Selection, precisely selecting text can be challenging. Android P introduces the text Magnifier to improve the user experience of selecting text. The magnifier helps users precisely position the cursor or the text selection handles by viewing magnified text through a pane that can be dragged over the text.
  • Android P comes with a new Magnifier widget, designed to make it easier to select text and manipulate the text cursor in text.



Smart Linkify

  • Smart Linkify uses machine-learning algorithms and models to recognize entities in text. This improves the reliability of the entities recognized. Smart Linkify can, based on entity type,suggest actions that the user can perform. For example, if Smart Linkify recognizes a phone number, the API suggests actions such as sending a text message, making a call, or adding to contacts.

New global actions

  • Android P introduces support for two new device actions in the AccessibilityService class. Your service can now help users lock their devices and take screenshots using the GLOBAL_ACTION_LOCK_SCREEN and GLOBAL_ACTION_TAKE_SCREENSHOT actions, respectively.

Background restrictions

  • Android P makes simple for users to identify and manage apps that are using battery in the background. Android can now detect battery-draining app behaviors such as excessive wake locks and others. Now in Android P, Battery Settings lists such apps and lets users restrict their background activities with a single tap.

Enhanced audio with Dynamics Processing

  • Android P introduces a new Dynamics Processing Effect in the Audio Framework that lets developers improve audio quality. The Dynamics Processing API gives you access to a multi-stage, multi-band dynamics processing effect that includes a pre-equalizer, a multi-band compressor, a post-equalizer and a linked limiter. It lets you modify the audio coming out of Android devices and optimize it according to the preferences of the listener or the ambient conditions. The number of bands and active stages is fully configurable, and most parameters can be controlled in realtime, such as gains, attack/release times, thresholds, etc.
Security for apps



Biometric prompt

  • Android P provides a standard authentication experience across the growing range of biometric sensors. Apps can use the new BiometricPrompt API instead of displaying their own biometric auth dialogs. This new API replaces the FingerprintDialog API added in DP1. In addition to supporting Fingerprints (including in-display sensors), it also supports Face and Iris authentication, providing a system-wide consistent experience.

Protected Confirmation

  • Android P introduces Android Protected Confirmation, which use the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) to guarantee that a given prompt string is shown and confirmed by the user. Only after successful user confirmation will the TEE then sign the prompt string, which the app can verify.

Stronger protection for private keys

  • In Android P, Google has added StrongBox, as a new KeyStore type, providing API support for devices that provide key storage in tamper-resistant hardware with isolated CPU, RAM, and secure flash.

List of supported devices for Android P Beta Program

Thanks to Project Treble, Android P Beta is now available on a wide range of popular devices such as Essential Phone, Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2 XL, Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Nokia 7 plus, OnePlus 6, Oppo R15 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21UD, Vivo X21, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S.

What’s next?

Stay tuned for the official Android P launch coming soon! I mean very soon!


Have a point to share? Come on! Let's discuss it out in the comments section.


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