Reading much into code commits in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit is risky business, much like it is for the Chromium Gerrit for Chrome OS. But it all indications are that the next major release of Android, Android P, is getting ready to hit the Developer Preview 1 stage.
A new commit simply states The future is now (2018 edition) and diving deeper into the platform Bionic, there is complete file structure that suggests everything is ready for a build of Android P to be completed.
When that build will be available as Developer Preview 1 is anyone’s guess. With Google I/O 2018 still several months out, it is possible that Google will release DP1 ahead of the event so developers can come armed with questions and test cases. That is what they did with Android Nougat and Oreo the last couple of years. Since I/O is in May, it could be April before we see this first preview build.
Making things even more interesting, Google has not said a peep about Android P to this point. They won’t even acknowledge that it is being worked on despite the public availability of commit comments and builds. Whether or not P is known as version 9.0 or not is up for debate but likely will be the build number.