The new version of Google’s wildly popular Android operating system is out in its beta form with the temporary nickname of “Android P” (we think this stands for either Pancake or Peppermint). This means however, that many features we see right now are unlikely to make it into the final version.
There are a few changes to the old Android version that we assumed might tickle your fancy. Read on to find out what they are.
In the latest beta release, Android P limits an app’s access to the mic, camera, and sensors when an app goes idle. In effect, this prohibits malicious apps from recording you through various sensors and mics without permission.
Also, backups are encrypted with a client-side secret, meaning your PIN, pattern, or password is used to encrypt your data before it leaves your device, and as usual, a bunch of bug fixes.
Enhanced Design Differences
Google also decided to make some subtle changes to the Android P interface, especially in the notification shade and settings.
Now, the notification area has been separated from the toggles with each panel having four rounded corners, more in line with Google’s recent design changes. The toggles themselves look slightly different; they are now circular icons, shaded in when enabled. In the settings menu too,these circular icons exist, except nicely colour-coded.
Battery Life Deadline
Another significant change in the Android P beta is the display of your remaining battery life, depending on your usage; another big change as compared to the previous versions which showed you roughly how much juice you have left in your battery.
Now, you don’t need to do any mental arithmetic to work out if your phone will last the whole day, because the time is right there in front of you, even on the main Settings screen.
More Screenshot Options
Just like iOS, Android now gives some basic editing options for screenshots.
You can now add some coloured doodles on the picture, and also crop it, right from the screenshot notification by just tapping on Edit.
No radical advancements yet, since it’s just in its infancy. We however expect more options, apart from the default Delete and Share buttons in the final product.
In the latest Android P interface, the navigation bar has had a major change.
The entire ‘recent apps’ and ‘home’ button have been removed, and replaced with a “pill”. You now swipe the “pill” upwards to access your recent app, and tap on it to go ‘home’.
This information was actually leaked by Google in a screenshot on the Android Developers Blog, which was almost instantly removed, cropped, and re-uploaded. Now, like iOS, the recent apps appear in a horizontal form, not like the current vertical layout.
The ‘back’ button also vanishes, once you’re on the home screen.
General Key Combinations
You can now take a screenshot with a long press on the power button, as well as with the usual power and volume down combo.
Pressing the power and the volume up buttons together also mutes or puts calls and notifications volumes to vibrate, instantly. You can decide which you prefer by opening Settings and going to Sound and then Shortcut to prevent ringings.
As you can see, Android is making a host of changes to make the already spectacular Android experience even better. We can’t wait for the final version to come out so we can soak it in all its glory.