Android P is found to be the ninth version of the Android operating system. It was first announced by Google on March 7, 2018, and its first developer preview was released on the same day. However, it’s the second preview, the beta version was released on May 8, 2018. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence were considered as the backbone in building Android P. The key features focused in enhancement were :
- Reducing the complexity of apps.
- Providing a maximized output.
- Simultaneously keeping a track of any overuse of the phone.
Google followed “Do more by using less” tag in developing Android P for users. Simplicity, Intelligence and Digital Wellbeing were the major three areas Google highlighted in the development of Android P.
Google efficiently managed to redesign the look and feel of Android UI elements. Google rewrapped many UI elements like setting up quick panels and notifications which now includes vertical scrolling icons, it also separates controls for ringer and media volume, and also a new dock at the bottom to make things look more organized and easy to access. The major UI changes took place in the traditional Android elements are below :
- Gestures and Buttons
Android P tries to make each action performed by the user in its simplest manner like pressing of buttons, scrolling. The users need not press the traditional home, back, and menu buttons to browse through their phones. Instead, they introduced Gestures which works as a substitute for buttons in various actions, for example, swipe up to open the recent apps and doubling it opens the app drawer, while swipe to return to the home screen, and swipe left and right to switch among the recently-opened apps.
- Smart Text and Image Selection
Text selection allows the user to access other apps directly and gives services when the user highlights a text. For example, the name of a band might give you a link in which the corresponding phone number displayed might take you straight to the Phone app to make a call. Smart text selection is now available in each app window. Image selection means in apps user can select and share images. Open Google Photo and long press the photo to be shared and it’s done.
- Quick settings
Android P provides more visually satisfying icons and toggles for notifications and also the screenshots is now shifted towards right-side in vertical bar to get more view focus on settings.
Android P is completely built-up on the bases of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning which improves the accuracy of devices and same time decreases the complexity of apps. Major improved features are as follows:
- Adaptive Battery
Android P introduced a new feature for battery management, by which app uses power effectively. It precisely estimates the dying time of your phone thereby, controls the background task which is running which interns saves your battery life. Here, it categories the usage of apps based on their usage in terms of rare, frequent, working set. And the statistics finally reveals that the CPU usage has been reduced up to 30 percentage than before.
- Smart Screen controls
It can now control the screen of your phones in various ways on a day. Here this feature will analyse the current surroundings brightness of your phone and adjusts its screen brightness accordingly till next, it detects the next surrounding change. This reduces the action of users to change the screen brightness manually.
These are building blocks of App actions. The major concept of this feature is to reshape the information which we find within the apps. Here the most actively used feature is considered. For example, if we search Lyft in google will display interactive slices which its price and ETA for each trip to work and tapping on it eliminate the need of going into the app and changing the process.
- App Actions
Google introduced this feature for fast user interaction by keeping track on apps past used features. It also predicts the most actively performed actions by a user on his apps. For example, if user plugin his/her headphone on an Android phone, Google will read what is the most tentative action the user will take next and offer a suggestion, so if the user usually opens any music app to play music, Google will offer the same as an actor in a drawer.
- ML Kit
ML Kit is a set of cross-platform APIs which are available to the developers on both Android and iOS platforms through Firebase. Google has extensively used Machine Learning in the development of Android P to reduce the no of actions performed by the user. ML Kit will allow the developers to use the predefined Machine Learning call functions for their applications to show up in the results of the queries made by the user. It also offers developers users on-device APIs for text recognition, image labelling, and face detection among others.
Google efficiently introduced this feature to make the user much more social well being. Google is helping the users maintain their ‘digital wellbeing’ by explaining how JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) is better FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), a term which is a fad on our times.
The Three main ways by which Google ensures digital wellbeing for users is as follows:
- The new Do Not Disturb mode
- Android Dashboard
- Wind Down mode
These three features mainly ensure the digital usage limit of users doesn’t go beyond a threshold value so that users can take time to do other things. Here the Do Not Disturb mode offers to provide complete no-distraction mode on your phone, whereas the other two are completely depended on the usage of the phone.
Android dashboard keeps track of each and every single action performed by the user like it keeps count of each app opened by user time to time and no of times the screen lock is opened and closed, all such actions time is consumed is calculated. Once the user reaches close to the threshold value, the icon will change its colour to grey which is a reminder for the user to turn off the consumption.
The Wind Down mode helps user phone to reach in Do Not Disturb mode while fading the display colour to white and black which reminds the user to go to sleep. During night time, this feature turns on Night Light feature and turns to Do Not Disturb mode.