The newest version of Android developers preview has been released. It’s only available for Pixel phones and should be considered very unstable. That said now is the chance to see what new features could be available in the next version of Android. I won’t cover all of the new features here but if you would like to read about them just follow the source link at the bottom of the page. You can find instructions and the download here
This flavor of Android adds support for the WiFi standard 802.11mc. Basically what that can do is give your location based on WiFi. Apparently, your device doesn’t have to connect to the access point, but it will be able to calculate the distance between access points which will give your basic location. What could this possibly be good for you ask? Ever been to an indoor concert and not know your way around the venue? If the app takes advantage of this technology it could help you find your way.
Display Cutout Support
Ugh. Damn you, Apple. This really shouldn’t be a thing, but it is. Android P will have support for devices that have a ‘notch‘. For some reason, smartphone manufacturers decided they needed to copy that notch thing. I don’t care who you give the blame (credit?), Essential or Apple but the notch seems like a thing. ‘P’ will be able to support either viewing full-screen content by separating from the notch or viewing around it.
New Messaging Notifications
This one is pretty cool. There is the support to show conversations and smart replies directly in the pull-down notification. You can also attach pictures or stickers without having to actually open the messaging app.
With more and more OEM’s putting dual (or more) cameras on their devices, there has to be something to take advantage of that right? Developers should be able to take advantage of tools to make pictures look better, maybe better bokeh or just features that normally wouldn’t be available on a phone with a single camera.
Android P will restrict the mic, camera, and other sensors from apps that are idle. That is good to know since you don’t want any of your apps spying on you. Another thing to note that you really won’t notice as an end user is they are blocking all cleartext traffic and moving it to TLS. Basically what that means is those communications will take place over an encrypted connection.
I have to say these are steps in the right direction. I’ve also read that the volume controls in Android P will control media volume by default instead of the ringer. Honestly, I remember a much earlier version of Android where you could lock the ringer volume to the notifications. That was more of a useful feature for me than anything else.
Do you have a Pixel device? If so will you be installing this latest Developers preview? Let us know in the comments!