Android P: New features, release date, and everything you need to know

Google's latest mobile operating system is here -- and we have all the details currently available.

Video: Android P: Google launches first developer preview


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Google has given developers a taste of Android P, the next major version of its mobile operating system. It's still early days and trying to decipher just what Android P brings to the table and what that ultimately means for users and the platform will be an ongoing process.

That said, we do know quite a bit about Android P in its current state. Here's everything we know -- and everything you need to know -- about Android P.

Android P: Availability

  • Preview for developers-only is available
  • Public beta for regular users is expected soon

Android P is available now as a developer preview. However, it's nowhere near ready for daily use or the general public. As Google begins to iron out any major issues, the company will open up its Android Beta program for more users to help test the OS before its final release.

Read also: Google announces Android P, now available in developer preview

(Screenshot: Jason Cipriani/ZDNet)

Android P: Release schedule

  • Total of five developer previews will launch
  • Final release for consumers is expected in Q3

Google has published a schedule detailing when developers can expect updates to Android P, leading up to the final, public release. The first update is scheduled for early May, which also happens to be right around the company's annual I/O developer conference.

Read also: Google makes developers solve puzzle to discover I/O 2018

There will be a total of five developer previews, with the final release currently scheduled for the third quarter of 2018.

Android P: Developer features

  • First developer preview contains few features for consumers
  • It did add support for iPhone X-like display notches

With the initial release, Google focused on giving developers access to new APIs, changes, and tools required to build apps for Android P. For example, Android P offers cutout support for devices that will use the iPhone X-like notch at the top of the display.

Read also: Android P will stop apps from silently using your phone's camera and mic

Other features include the ability to track a user indoors using Wi-Fi RTT to within a meter or two. Other improvements include HEIC image support, which amounts to better compression for photos, and more storage for the user.

You can read more about developer features included in Android P in this post, or you can dig into the security and privacy improvements here.

Android P: Consumer features

  • Google will reveal more features for consumers at I/O
  • Currently, Android P has a new look to it

With Google's approach to the first Android P preview, major features and changes that the average user will care about are, for the most part, missing from the initial release. Google has said it will reveal more Android P features, likely consumer-friendly ones, at I/O in May.

Read also: How Android P plans to turn your phone into a bluetooth keyboard (TechRepublic)

That said, there are some features currently worth mentioning: Android P has a new look to it, which includes a more colorful Settings app, subtly rounded corners, and improvements to message notifications (including attachments and suggested smart replies).

(Image: Google)

Android P: What's in a name?

  • Android P is not the software's official name
  • Google has teased Pineapple upside-down cake

As is tradition, Google will likely name the next version of Android after some sort of confection. From Gingerbread and KitKat to Nougat and Oreo -- the precedence is there.

And with Google's history of working with name brands when it comes to naming a version of Android, it's entirely possible Android Pop Tart is up next. Then again, there's parfait, peanut brittle, popsicle, pumpkin pie, or praline.

Read also: Google I/O 2018 set for May 8 to May 10 (CNET)

Recently, Google made people work through an online puzzle to determine the date and location of its I/O developer conference. As part of that, it teased a picture of Pineapple upside-down cake. Is that what Android P will be called?

We should know more about its name later this fall.

Previous and related coverage

Android P: All the new features and tools announced (so far)

Here's a look at what's inside Android P. Just remember there will be more features and capabilities added later in the preview. Google will have more to share at Google I/O 2018 in May, too.

Android Oreo vs Android One vs Android Go: All their differences, explained

We look at the three different Android experiences Google is now managing and explain where each one fits in the mobile industry.


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