It seems like just yesterday Android Oreo began rolling out to devices, and even now only 1% of android phones are running it. Yet despite Oreo’s youth, the newest release rumors have already begun spreading about what’s up next. Internally known as “Android Pistachio Ice Cream”, Android P is close on the horizon.
A little leaked info by Bloomberg has provided some insight to Android’s next release, and the changes are both expected, and somewhat out of left field. Software features such as Google Assistant are being ramped up to become a more integral part of the interface. On the less predictable end it seems Android P will be revolving heavily around a new “notch” similar to that in the iPhone X. This seems to be a marketing strategy aimed at converting iPhone users to team Android, but without knowing more about notch details it’s hard to say how impactful this design change will be.
On a much more interesting note for developers and practical users, Google Assistant appears to be one of the primary focuses of growth. This emphasis will likely open all sorts of new possibilities as Android finds ways to not only build out Assistant as a standalone, but to incorporate it into other apps!
Assistant already has high quality performance for asking questions and managing smart-home devices, but incorporating it into 3rd party apps opens a whole new door for creativity. By opening Assistant up to third-party developers (like Amazon has with Alexa), we could see some groundbreaking apps come into being with voice commands. Obviously fun from a development standpoint, and users would be empowered to do a whole lot more than just google something or ask to hear a joke.
Another welcome feature being added on is privacy. As it currently stands, when an app is granted camera/microphone recording permission by the user it can turn these on as it pleases. Not ideal. Recent code submissions show that Android P plans to be work through this issue by blocking background apps from accessing a device’s microphone or camera. Whether or not you’re the type to sticky note your camera, this is most definitely a win for privacy.
Android P (any love for popsicle?) will make its debut in 3 months at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, and even then it will be a long way off from gaining a large market share of devices, but stay tuned and we’ll be sure to dive deeper into what it has to offer for both developers and users.
What are your thoughts about the new features coming to Android P? Please comment below.