What is Android P?
Android P, also referred to as “Android Pie,” was announced by Google on March 7, 2018. The Android P embraces circles, rounded edges, artificial intelligence, which genuinely attempts to care for your digital wellbeing. It is out for Google’s own Pixel phones which include the original Pixel and Pixel XL and also the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. And also it may come running on the upcoming Pixel 3, too.
The top features also include altered volume controls, a tweaked look, and a new battery mode. It has made a solid update but, as of August 2018, many of the software’s most interesting features are missing, including its ‘digital wellness’ suite. Even though Google called this a full release, but Android Pie has a few slices missing.
Android P: Visual and Navigation Changes
When first Material Design made for Android 5.0, it was quite far away for Android to catch up with iOS simple aesthetic appeal. Android 5.0 version had a consistent, cute look found across Google’s apps and services. Nonetheless, Google Pixel phones have started to look a little ‘stiff’ when compared to the third-party alternatives. The new changes in Android P have aimed to address these concerns.
The Android P notifications have rounded edges, with its clean quick-settings tiles, pie-shaped circles, and the also Settings app has been revamped into more colorful, rounded interface making the operating system feel friendlier and fluid.
The drastic changes lie in the navigation menu. There are no more Android navigation buttons with the favor of a single, pill-shaped icon. Similar to the iOS of iPhone X, the new Android P is all about gesture navigation which uses swipes instead of taps on icons.
The pill-shaped button works by acting almost exactly the same as the old home button. O; press and hold it and you’ll open Google Assistant. As soon as you open any app, you’ll see a back button on the left of the home button. The back button works exactly the same as the previous versions, but the button is made a little more angular and smaller. The redesigned back button may look out of place with the rounded theme which has dominated the rest of the OS.
However, there is no “Recents” button to see view the recently opened apps, but still, there is a way to access them by dragging the home button to the right to switching back to the previous app. Also, you can press and hold it to the right to scroll through all your recent apps.
Accessing the App Drawer may feel like a little work because you need to make sure you swipe completely up. The half-swipe has made it feel little disrupting and also it takes more time to find a recently-opened app in the “Recents” menu by showing fewer apps.
To the notification drawer, the clock has now shifted to the left side of the system tray, and the quick settings area is now packed with more rounded tiles which made it look a much cleaner, but few functionalities has disappeared.
To see networks on Wi-Fi you’ll need to press and hold it to dive into the relevant section of the Settings app. The people are preferring the visual changes, but it does feel like a step back in functionality.
Notifications are more useful
When you pull the notification down to check them, you’ll see a drastic change made and notice that notifications are now done with a card-style interface. Though the quick settings remain at the top, they have a new look which is more colorful than the previous versions and also it provides a lot more noticeable indication by using a big blue circle. The quick settings made available can be expanded by dragging the handle or swiping the fingerprint sensor a second time.
The new updates and changes in notifications are always welcomed by the users. Once developers make small drastic changes to take advantage of Android P’s notification system, everything will become more useful and informative similar to what notifications should be.
For an instant messaging, P allows an app to identify the sender and provides the name and avatar of the user that you may recognize as well as the first few lines of a message. A quick drag to it will expand the text box further and give you more contexts that you may need it.
Furthermore, for a smart reply, phone parses the content of a notification when it draws you the preview, and with the information on the app, it makes three smart replies available. These actions can be performed with a single tap, and your decision will be sent to the application and the notification will be marked as read and removed from the shade.
Also Read: Top 5 Best Android Emulators For Any Windows
The biggest change on the Android P is the inclusion of gestures into the navigation settings. It’s a simple change which enables gesture navigation with no more home button. For better, Google expects developers to implement their own navigation inside apps or simply return to the homepage or rely on the new AI made available features to manage opening and closing of apps.
The best part of the gesture system is that simply a new way to navigate but there is no compulsion on using it nor the company that made your phone required to include it.
Inside The Hood Improvements
With various update happening under the hood, the first improvement you may notice is the Adaptive Battery. As per Google, it is working with its Deep Mind division to analyze user behavior so that it can predict the apps you’re most likely to use next, and make the resources ready according to your choice which ultimately will result in a 30-percent reduction in CPU wake-ups improving the battery life. Though no changes have been seen in battery life on Google Pixel 2 XL before or after the installation Android 9 Pie, it could just be due to high usage.
Another change is that the apps which may be running in the background will no longer be able to access the microphone or camera. Also, there is a consistent fingerprint authentication to access through all apps and services making it look the same throughout the OS.
Google is furthermore helping developers integrate its Material design elements to help unify the design.
Android P: Initial Verdict
Android P is one of Google’s biggest updates to Android. With its previous versions of Android 7.0 and 8.0, Android 9 Pie has largely fixed things under the hood with fresh visual changes. There are also many small improvements for your day-to-day use of Android which will drastically improve by the time of usage and the injection of artificial intelligence is already helpful.
The opening Android P doesn’t have the digital wellness tools which could help wean you off an unhealthy social media obsession so it isn’t the full package. However, its performance and stability appear solid with useful interface tweaks which are peppered throughout, and also the controversial gesture navigation feature is optional.