• Sal Farieri

Android P features detailed, biggest update in years


Today, Google kicked off it's yearly I/O keynote and announced a ton of news. Perhaps the biggest news of the day, was the announcement of all features you can expect in Android P (still no official name for the new Android OS). Let's break it down.

ADAPTIVE BATTERY

Battery life is always a big concern for just about any user and Google decided to help users get the most of it. Google teamed up with DeepMind, a company who specializes in artificial intelligence research, to create Adaptive Battery. This feature uses AI to prioritize battery power only for the apps and services used the most.

To go with this, Google also created Adaptive Brightness, which uses machine learning to learn how the user sets the brightness slider in a specific environment. The AI learns over time and will get better as time goes on.

APP ACTIONS

With machine learning at the core of Android P, Google created a feature called App Actions, which predicts what you want to do next based on, well, machine learning. For example, if you plug in headphones, you will receive an action to resume your favorite Spotify playlist. According to Google, actions will show up in places like the Launcher, Smart Text Selection, the Play Store, the Google Search app and the Assistant.

SLICES

The goal of the feature Slices is to make interacting with apps quicker. For instance, if you type “Lyft” in Google Search, you can see a Slice that gives you the price and time for a trip to your most commonly traveled places such as, work and home. From there, you can interact with the slice to quickly order your ride. This saves a tremendous amount of time.

NEW SYSTEM NAVIGATION

With Android P, Google completely revamped system navigation. The sideways triangular back button returns, gone is the square recent apps button, and the home button has taken the shape of a pill. In addition, if you swipe up from the bottom you can slide the home button to navigate through full-screened previews of your recently used apps. Swiping up from where the old recent apps button was will bring you the app drawer.

Additionally, Google redesigned the Quick Settings, made it easier to take screenshots, and simplified volume controls.

MANUAL ROTATION

Let's face it. Auto-rotate can sometimes be annoying. Now, Android P users will have the ability to manually rotate. A rotating indicator will appear in the navigation bar where users can tap to manually rotate the screen when they want.

DIGITAL WELLBEING

We're all just about addicted to our phones in some way and definitely use it way too much. Google apparently cares about how much people use their phone and wants to help. The search giant incorporated a dashboard that allows you to see how often you are using your smartphone. You will be able to see how much time you spend in apps, how often you unlock your phone, and the amount of notifications you receive.

There will also be an App Timer that puts time limits on apps and will notify you when you’re close to your limit. The app will then be grayed out to remind you that you have hit or exceeded your limit.

In addition, Google updated the Do Not Disturb mode which will now silence all visual interruptions that pop up on your screen, on top of phone calls and notifications. One way to automatically enable this feature is to place the phone face down on a surface.

Lastly, there's a feature called Wind Down. This feature is perfect for users who tend to look at their phone before going to bed. When it gets dark, the phone will go into night mode and the screen will turn to gray scale around your set bedtime. This will also automatically put the device into Do Not Disturb mode. It is not good to look at your phone before bed as it can interrupt your sleeping patterns, but this feature should help prevent that.

Pixel users can download the Android P beta today and so can you if you have a Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, or an Essential Phone. Expect Android P to be released in the third quarter of the year.

#Google #Android #AndroidP #GoogleIO2018

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