Google launched the first Developer Preview for Android P yesterday, and while you can find extensive coverage of all of its features at 9to5Google, there are several features included that might feel familiar to iOS users. The new release packs support for iPhone X-style notches, a redesigned notifications menu with iOS-like quick settings toggles, and more.
The most obvious and most talked-about feature coming to the next major version of Android is OS-level support for notched displays. While the iPhone X is certainly the most famous example, the Android-powered Essential Phone was actually the device that kicked off the trend last year.
Regardless of your stance on the notch, it appears that many more Android device makers are planning to launch flagship devices in 2018 with a notch. Appropriately, Android P makes it easy for developers to take full advantage of these displays, with Android now “managing status bar height to separate your content from the cutout.”
The implementation on Android seems just slightly different from that of iOS. In portrait mode, notched displays will have an extended status bar that will take up the space to the left and right of the notch. Meanwhile, landscape video will display with a black bar on the left side unless developers implement the option to “embrace the notch”.
Along with this, Google has restricted the number of notification icons that can be shown thanks to this new notch-supported design, has relocated the clock to the left side of the display, and has also added an option for developers to simulate what these notched displays might look like.
In just about every Android release, Google revamps the way notifications are handled. That’s the case again with Android P, which packs some changes to the system focus on increased visibility and functionality. Specifically, Android P has support for notifications showing conversations, photos, stickers, and smart replies.
But the more interesting user-facing design change, here, is the new redesigned quick settings toggles. The buttons have been redesigned to be rounded and very flat in design, very similar to the look they had in the days of iOS 7, 8, 9, and 10. You can visit our hands-on post for a more in-depth look at these new toggles.
Another feature that came to iOS last year and is finally coming to Android with the P release is a system-wide screenshot editor. There’s a new screenshot shortcut that can be accessed by holding down the power button, and tapping it takes you to the new built-in ‘Markup‘ screenshot editor. Like iOS 11, the editor lets you draw and crop your shots and save them for easy sharing.
Among other features that Google has explicitly promoted with Android P’s release are a new multi-camera API that lets Android access simultaneous streams from more than one physical camera, Wi-Fi based indoor positioning for in-building navigation and location-based information, built-in support for HDR VP9 Profile 2, and much more.
Android users will also be happy to hear that Google is taking privacy more seriously with idle applications. With Android P and later, an app’s microphone, camera, and sensors stop reporting events entirely when running in the background.
We’ve dug into this release more deeply at 9to5Google and also found dozens of UI tweaks and changes throughout. These include an updated easter egg, a new Ambient Display battery indicator, a colorful new Settings app menu, a new location for the volume slider, a new hiding trail for the pattern unlock, an iOS-esque text zoom tool, new transition animations, and more.