At the Google I/O 2018 Keynote event on May the 8th, Google announced the new Beta version of their Android operating system dubbed “Android P”. The main features in the new OS include conserving battery life, adapting your phone to suit your habits, cleaning up the user interface, and offering tools to help you disconnect with your phone and live a healthier digital lifestyle.
Adaptive Battery & Adaptive Brightness
Battery issues are the biggest concern of smartphone users, as our phones become more integral to our lives. Google has improved battery life in Android P by introducing adaptive battery, which optimizes how apps use your battery according to how you use your phone.
Adaptive battery priorities apps using machine learning that you use more often, and puts others in a doze, app standby, or limited background mode to save battery life. Apps added to a low priority mode will have restrictions in alarms, network usage, and high priority push notifications.
This feature also uses machine learning to adapt the brightness level of your phone based on how and when you have previously changed brightness over time, also helping in conserving battery life.
Background App Usage Restrictions
Android P makes it easier to identify apps that are using your phones background mode excessively and draining battery life. Background mode is used for listening for push notifications, tracking location, and time etc. The battery settings area allows users to now restrict an apps background activities with a single tap.
Gesture Based Main Button
The three buttons on the bottom have been replaced with a single button that performs similar actions to the back, home, and apps buttons and operates based on your gestures similar to the iPhone X.
Swipe up gets you to your recent apps, swipe up twice gets you to all apps, single tap gets you back home.
Another machine learning function introduced is app actions. Android will learn what common tasks you perform at a location, time or if a certain accessory is connected. For example an app action may suggest a playlist or music app when connecting headphones. (Hopefully this is a useful feature and not an annoyance!)
The new dashboard in Android P allows you to see at a glance how much you are using your phone, and which apps are taking up the most of your time. You can also set app-by-app usage limits. Once you reach this limit the apps will be grayed out. (They can however still be used in an emergency) Google has also introduced a “Shush” mode which allows you to silence your phone by merely turning it over. You can however still receive notifications or calls from your starred contacts.
When can you see it?
Google estimates an end of year launch for Android P, and as with all previous releases has not as yet let us know which dessert-themed name it will take. Our guesses are perhaps Popsicle, Pineapple cake, or Pop Tart!