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13 brand new Features & modifications Coming in Android P « Android :: Gadget Hacks

Google is actually required to announce the next variation of their mobile operating system, Android P, during their I/O developers conference on May 8. However, the first developer preview of Android P will likely be released before then in March. While we wait for DP1 to arrive, the rumors have been flooding in on what Android 9.0 actually has in store for us.

Yes, 98.9% of Android users are still waiting on Android 8.0 Oreo, nevertheless P, which could mean anything coming from Pie to Pineapple Cake or Pudding, might be the first major software update to avoid This specific dreaded fragmentation problem.

Why? Because Google implemented Project Treble into Android Oreo, which is actually designed to speed up the update process for non-Nexus devices. All phones that will launch with Android Oreo or higher will be required to support This specific feature, which means you could be looking at over-the-air updates in weeks or months in addition to not years like some devices would likely take.

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With that will out of the way, let’s dive right into the features we could see.

1. Support for Notches

Whether you like or not, This specific looks like the notch on the iPhone X isn’t going away. While we don’t know if Apple will keep the trademark design in 2018 lineup, thanks to a report by Bloomberg Technology, we know that will Google is actually anticipating their OEMs will follow the trend. Apparently, Android P will build support for the notch, adjusting the format to accommodate for phones which decide to include This specific design.

Currently, the only Android phone that has a notch is actually the Essential PH-1, nevertheless This specific looks like This specific won’t be alone for much longer. Rumors indicate the Huawei P20 Plus will include the notch as well, possibly housing their take on a more secure variation of Face ID. However, with Google including support for notches, This specific means many more phones will utilize a similar format.

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2. Support for Multiple Screens & Foldable Displays

Samsung has been rumored to be working on a folding Android smartphone for years, in addition to some other OEMs have been getting creative with their devices, too. This specific job will become fairly easier since Google is actually adding in support for multiple displays in Android P.

Last year, ZTE released their Axon M which brought back Kyocera Echo’s design of dual screens attached by a hinge. While Android in its current state was able to manage This specific multi-display design, Android P looks to improve support.

The two-displays on the ZTE Axon M. Image by Android Authority/YouTube

3. Easier Implementation of Night Mode for Apps

With most flagship Android devices use OLED displays, a common complaint coming from users has been the lack of a dark mode that will converts all menus in addition to settings to a black background. Not only would likely This specific save on battery consumption (thanks to how OLED displays show blacks), This specific’s visually pleasing in certain conditions. While Android P won’t provide a true dark mode, This specific will make This specific easier for app developers to implement a night mode for their apps.

At first, many news outlets (including ourselves) reported on Google adding a system-wide dark mode in Android P. This specific was thanks to a response to a Google user who requested the feature in November 2017. Unfortunately, This specific response was misinterpreted.

Google eventually provided some clarification inside the same issue tracker with another response that will specifically denies a system-wide dark mode. Instead, Google has added a toggle for the night mode qualifier which makes This specific easier for app developers to create in addition to test night mode for their apps. While This specific qualifier has been there since Android 2.2 Froyo, Android P will be the first to include the toggle. So while there is actually still Substratum, there will not be any native dark mode support.

4. Background Apps Won’t Have Mic Access

This specific looks like Android P might actually stand for “privacy,” as This specific appears Google is actually adding a few features to strengthen user protection. One such protection is actually preventing idle background apps coming from using your microphone. While Android Oreo did limited background services, Android P is actually taking even more steps to ensure that will malicious apps don’t record your conversation without you knowing.

Discovered by XDA, when an app is actually installed, This specific is actually given a UID, a unique identifier which is actually never modified. When the app, identified using the UID, enters into an idle state, Android’s audio system will prevent any access to the microphone to record audio. If an app attempts to gain access, Android will send This specific empty data.

While Android has introduced protection before because of This specific specific problem (Android 6.0 Marshmallow blocked default microphone permission), This specific additional measure improves the automated process in addition to better protect its users.

5. Background Apps Won’t Have Camera Access Either

In addition to preventing idle apps access to your microphone, Android P is actually also preventing access to your camera. The process is actually similar to the mic, utilizing the UID to identify apps. According to XDA, when the UID is actually idle, Android will generate an error message in addition to stop access if This specific tries to use the camera.

These two additions are necessary steps to clean up Android’s image of being unsafe. While malware in addition to vulnerabilities will still exist, by adding This specific to native code, the average user transversing the ecosystem of Android will be a little bit safer.

6. Alert Tone When Your Call is actually Being Recorded

Android already supports call recording. However, OEMs rarely enable the feature on their phones because of privacy in addition to legal issues. In cases where phones are able to record calls, Android P will include an alert tone which informs all parties that will the conversation is actually being recorded, according to XDA.

When Android detects the use of the call recording API, the system will play a tone every fifteen seconds, alerting the some other party that will they are being taped. The inclusion of This specific tone makes Android’s call recording API more in line with some states’ two-party consent laws, which require both parties to be aware of the recording for This specific to be legal.

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7. Hidden Signal Strength Numbers

For those of you who like seeing your cellular networks strength in decibel-milliwatts (dBm), you’re not going to be happy. Another feature discovered by XDA, Android P will at This specific point allow carriers to restrict the numerical value of signal strength.

While these numbers aren’t typically viewed by average users, they do give more accuracy on your current signal. in addition to This specific information can help find the cause of poor reception. The only solace inside the matter is actually that will This specific limitation in Android P will be confided to carrier-branded devices so unlocked phones will be unaffected.

Image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

8. Modifiable LTE Signal Bars

If the missing dBm wasn’t bad enough, according to XDA, Android P will include the ability to alter how LTE bars are displayed to users. One modification possible is actually not requiring dBm values to display max signal strength. By allowing carriers to alter This specific, users could be presented that has a disingenuous LTE signal. in addition to unlike the hidden signal strength numbers, This specific isn’t limited to just carrier-branded phones.

Image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

9. Screenshot Editing

While This specific rumor is actually a little weaker than the previous ones, we still believe there is actually a Great chance of its inclusion. Within the latest variation of the Google app is actually a built-in screenshot editor. This specific feature was also just added to iOS 11, in addition to This specific is actually typical of Google (in addition to Apple) to copy each some other to prevent being left behind. Therefore, This specific isn’t a stretch to say that will This specific feature will be built into the brand new variation of Android, allowing users to edit system-wide screenshots immediately after taking them.

Just like the iPhone, Android might soon be able to edit screenshots. Image by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

10. Smart Reply for All Apps

Just like the screenshot editor, This specific is actually another weak rumor based on a recent app addition. The beta variation of Google’s Reply app shows a smaller glimpse of a smart reply addition to some other messaging apps.

With smart reply, machine learning is actually used to analyze incoming messages in addition to present you with common quick responses. No longer do you need to type out “Yes” or “No” to respond to a message — with smart reply, you just need to choose the generated reply coming from the list of available options.

that has a stronger push forward toward machine learning integration in Android P, look to see smart reply available to all apps in addition to not just Google-built ones.

11. Use Your Phone as a Bluetooth Keyboard or Mouse

Thanks to the analysis by XDA, This specific looks like Android P will let you use your phone as a Bluetooth mouse in addition to keyboard. According to XDA, the Bluetooth HID profile has recently been added to Android P, which is actually a profile used for input devices such as keyboards in addition to mice.

This specific could have numerous benefits, particularly for OEMs looking to challenge the desktop market. Companies such as Jide have transformed Android into a desktop operating system, so with the inclusion of This specific profile, you could use a tablet in addition to phone for a mobile desktop experience. Samsung in addition to Huawei have also included desktop support in their flagship devices, nevertheless currently require a dock (for Samsung) or a cable (for Huawei) to implement. With the Bluetooth HID profile, Samsung in addition to Huawei could eventually create a wireless variation of these products.

However, the biggest beneficiary of This specific addition would likely be Razer’s Project Linda, which turns the Razer Phone into a trackpad for a laptop. Currently, the laptop (which is actually a concept) holds the phone in a cutout, which limits support to just the Razer Phone. With Android P, Razer could change This specific to a wireless solution, allowing Linda to theoretically support any Android P device.

12. Enhanced Call Blocking

Currently, Android only allows users to block calls coming from a specific phone number. Therefore, you must first receive the unwanted call to then block future calls. However, according to XDA, This specific looks like Android P will change This specific.

With Android P, numbers can be block based on various criteria. For example, numbers not in your contacts list, private numbers, calls coming from pay phones, in addition to numbers without caller ID information. Additionally, if the call is actually an emergency, a persistent notification will display informing the recipient that will call blocking was disabled due to the call’s emergency status.

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While Security Suite (such as Norton) already include the feature, This specific looks like Android P will natively support enhanced call blocking.

The only issue is actually that will like some of the some other modifications for Android P, This specific feature may require carrier approval. While we do expect most carriers will include the feature, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman speculates that will some carriers may leverage This specific “to sell you these call blocking features as part of an ‘added value’ package.”

13. Native Support for Iris Scanners

While few phones utilize This specific sensor, This specific looks like Android P will include native support for iris scanners. According to XDA, there is actually a commit labelled “Biometrics Iris HAL,” which would likely standardize communication between the OS in addition to iris scanner. inside the Android framework, there are several commits regarding iris scanning, including one permission which suggests third-party apps may be able to request access to the iris scanner to dismiss the lock screen.

While This specific doesn’t guarantee a brand new trend of smartphones including the sensor, This specific is actually a win for Samsung, which has included the sensor since the Galaxy Note 7. Also, native support helps the custom ROM community, which will at This specific point be able to include iris scanning support in ROMs as well.

is actually that will This specific for Android P Features?

With Android P, This specific looks Google is actually focusing on under-the-hood modifications which improve the overall experience for the user. While there are rumors of a visual overall, there has been nothing concrete so far. Once we know something for certain, we’ll make sure to add This specific to This specific list.

We have some time before the start of Google I/O on May 8, 2018, so stay tuned to Gadget Hacks for the latest news in addition to rumors about Android P. Are you excited about Android P? What is actually a feature you wish they include? Let us know inside the comment below.

Cover image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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