Video: What's new in Google's latest update to Android P?
Google's third beta of the Android P developer preview has landed, offering a "very close" picture of what it will look like in the final version due in late summer.
This release is the third of five previews due before the final release in Q3, when users will start wondering when Android P will be delivered to their model.
Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android, doesn't mention any new features in a blogpost, but says the new beta includes bug fixes for "stability and polish" as well as the July 2018 Android patches.
This release will help developers test their apps in the nearly completed version of Android P to detect bugs and avoid problems when it is actually released.
Also, since all the developer APIs were completed in the previous update, developers now have a more complete picture of changes in Android P and all the tools to test how their apps will handle new stability-enhancing restrictions the OS will bring.
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Burke describes it as an "early release candidate build of Android with near-final system behaviors and the official Android P APIs (API level 28)".
Preview 4 and Preview 5, due out over the next few weeks, will be official release candidates for further testing and final testing before Android P's release.
Similar to iOS 12's Screen Time for countering unintended iPhone overuse, Android P will introduce a dashboard to help users understand their usage patterns and how much time they're spending with each app.
There are also user interface changes, new navigation techniques, an Adaptive Battery power management system, and support for full-screen devices with a notch or cut-out.
This update doesn't appear to introduce any major new features but rather has superficial tweaks, according to XDA-Developers' rundown of changes.
The Android P rollout will also be a good chance to see the impact, one year on from Project Treble, which was aimed at delivering new versions of Android faster.
Project Treble should be most noticeable on devices that shipped with Android Oreo and has already helped expand the number of devices eligible to join the Android P beta, such as the OnePlus 6, Nokia 7 plus, and some Vivo models.
Burke also flagged an upcoming developer Reddit Ask Me Anything session where the Android engineering team will answer technical questions about Android P. This will be hosted on July 19 from 11.30am to 1pm PT.
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