10/05/2018 – 3:16pm
At Google I/O this week, the software giant and Android owner, officially unveiled the next version of its Android mobile operating system. Right now the new OS is simply called “Android P” but you can expect it to get a cuter name later this year when it’s released to the public.
Google has a history of naming Android after sweet treats like candies and cookies (KitKat, Oreo, etc). So what might Android P be named? I’m really hoping for Android Pez or Android Pop-rocks, but Android Payday, Android Popsicle, and Android Pixy Stix would also suffice. But I digress.
Android P is going to bring a ton of new features to the OS, but as any mature mobile OS, most of the features will be little tweaks and under the hood improvements. That’s not saying there won’t be some major new surface improvements, however.
Here are the top five biggest new features of Android P.
New System Navigation
This is perhaps the biggest change to Android P–and really, you can thank the iPhone X for this. Android P will see an all-new system navigation that will mostly do away with the three digital buttons found at the bottom of the screen.
Instead, the new system will see a bar at the bottom of the screen you swipe up on (hello, iPhone X) that allows you to swipe between open apps, see your most recently used apps, and access your entire app drawer. If you’re leery about this change–don’t be. Android was right to steal this from the iPhone X.
Another major addition to Android P is a new wellbeing dashboard that aims to help you keep your smartphone addiction in check. The dashboard will let you see things like how long you spend on your phone–and in individual apps. There’s also a really cool feature that allows you to set app timers that alert you you’ve spent more than your prescribed time in an app.
Better Battery Features
This is also a very welcome change. Android P will include a feature called “Adaptive Battery” that uses artificial intelligence to automatically manage your battery power. Adaptive Battery will allow Android P to prioritize battery power for the apps and services you use the most. This will give you more overall battery life–always a plus.
And the AI in Android P won’t just help you with managing your battery life. It will also offer things including Adaptive Brightness that learns how you like to set the brightness slider given your surroundings and adjusts it automatically.
Another AI feature called App Actions will help you get to your next task more quickly by predicting what you want to do next. For example, if you plug in your headphones, Android P will suggest that you open your favorite music app if that’s normally what you do after you plug in your headphones.
Better Screenshot Tools
Again, thank the iPhone here. With iOS 11 Apple improved the iPhone’s screenshot tools, allowing you to immediately markup and share a screenshot you just took without needing to open up the image in an image editing app. Well, the exact same feature is coming to Android P. Thanks, Apple!
Android P is available in beta right now and is expected to ship to select Android devices this autumn.
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