Android P Update Detailed: Release Date and New Features

Richard Goodwin

09/03/2018 – 10:01am

All of Android P’s new features detailed, plus news on when your phone will get the update

Android P will get its official debut at Google I/O 2018, just like Android Oreo. As usual, leaks are now starting to appear online and these are beginning to paint a picture of what Google has in store for Android users (well, those that will actually get it) in late-2018.

Bloomberg got hold of some leaked details about the platform update and, well… it sounds like Android P could be a BIG update. One of the major MO’s of the update appears to be design oriented – Google wants to make Android more attractive to iPhone users.

And in order to do this it is going to borrow heavily from Apple, starting with the notch that features on the iPhone X. Why? I have no idea; I’d much prefer a phone without a notch to be honest. Makes you wonder what would happen if Apple released a phone with a chicken wing attached to it?

Android P will more tightly integrate Google Assistant as well as improve battery life and decrease the platform’s CPU footprint. The new update will also feature support for foldable displays, new UX design language, and support for screens of all shapes and sizes (whatever that means).

The BIG problem Google still has, however, is fragmentation. Yes, there are BILLIONS of Android phones in existence but less than 1% of them run the latest build of Android. This will not change in 2018 or 2019 or 2020, despite efforts from Google with things like its Project Treble.

It could help Google shift a few more Pixel phones, however, and this will certainly make the execs at The Big G happy. The search giant is now in the throws of buildings its very own iPhone-style business. It just needs more volume. And that will likely come with time.

We’ll be hearing a lot more about Android P between now and Google I/O 2018, so stay tuned for more as it happens. The first handsets to run it will most likely be Google’s Pixel 3 phones, which are already shaping up nicely in the rumour mill.

Android P Release Date – When’s It Landing?

As I said: Google will officially unveil Android P during its Google I/O 2018 event, which takes place during the summer. The update will be detailed, alongside a host of other initiatives and products, and then, a few months later, it will be released for the first time inside Google’s new Pixel 3 phones.

The first handsets to get the update officially will be Google’s Pixel and Nexus phones. Then, usually around December, other OEMs will start updating their handsets software. What will be interesting about this release, however, is whether or not Project Treble actually speeds things up or not. Could we see more handsets running Android P than Android Oreo during Q4? Quite possibly.

Google will apparently release the developer preview of Android P earlier than usual; some are saying it could land as early as March. Pings of the new OS are already showing up online, so testing is now underway in earnest. But once the developer preview lands, we’ll know a lot more about the OS, what it’s all about, and how it will affect the Android ecosystem.

Android P Developer Preview Release Date

When’s the Android P Developer Preview landing? Soon, according to @evleaks, so there’s not too long to wait until we get our first proper look at Android P.

According to Blass, Google will release the Android P Developer Preview in March – so it should land inside the next couple of weeks. Google released the Android Oreo DP in March last year, so this leak sounds pretty good to me, as Google is definitely a creature of habit.

Furthermore, Blass believes Android P will be officially known as Android Pie, meaning March 14 – the suspected release date of the Android P DP – will be forever known as Android Pie Day.

Android P WILL Include More Robust Call Blocking Features

Discovered by XDA Developers, the advanced call-blocking features provide an array of methods to block nefarious callers from getting in touch with you. You can, for instance, manually enter a number you want blocked or setup conditions based on the following things:

  • The phone number is not in your contacts list
  • The phone number is not disclosed by the caller (Private)
  • The phone number is from a pay phone
  • The phone number does not have any caller ID information (Unknown/Unidentified)

This feature can, however, be deactivated by your carrier, so if you’re buying an Android P phone via a network or carrier, they might switch this feature off – you know, because they like doing things like that with your phone.

As always, with respect to this kind of thing, it always PAYS to go unlocked with your phone. You get more options, more features, and better value for money, as you’re not tied to a specific carrier or network. If you’re thinking about getting the Pixel 3 once it drops, I would 100% advise you to go the unlocked route via Google Play.

Yes, it’s more expensive. But look after your phone and you’ll be able to sell it 12 months later for around 60% of the RRP value and put that towards the Pixel 4 – or, whatever handset you desire. Expensive upfront, but it definitely pays dividends over time, as you can save a fortune on SIM-only plans.

Android P Will Block Apps Accessing Your Camera

Hackers and nefarious developers can access your camera and do all kinds of unspeakable things with it. It’s kind of scary when you think about it. Mark Zuckerberg ALWAYS has tape over his computer’s webcam, and he owns the internet basically. So, yeah…

Snooping is a real thing, and you need to be careful. With Android P, Google is taking more measures to make its platform more secure. According to leaked information, via XDA, Android P will feature code that will block background apps from accessing the handset’s camera.

“The rule will be applied to apps’ User IDs (UID),” notes Android Police, “which are unique identifiers that Android associates to each application when it’s installed. Whenever a UID becomes idle — like when a device goes into Doze mode — Android will block off its access to the camera.”

Google has taken measures in the past to sure up Android’s security credentials by adding in notifications for multiple scenarios, but these were not popular with users. Most people just ignored them, so Google’s decision to block access natively in Android P makes sense.

It will all happen in the background with you having to look at or do anything. This process will make the phone more secure, though it is kind of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Android’s security flaws, which has been under scrutiny for a good long while now.

Still, at least Google is taking direct measures to ensure those core elements of your phone are safe and secure. I mean, no one wants their phone’s camera getting accessed by potential scammers – the fallout could be truly horrifying.

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