Android P Public Beta Opens With Expanded Device Support

As expected, Google has announced that Developer Preview 2 and the first public beta of Android P, the next major version of the mobile platform, is now available.  The announcement came at Google I/O today along with a slew of new features that will be coming to Android P.  Perhaps more exciting is that for the first time, Google will be opening up the public beta to non-Google devices.  Those devices, beyond the Google Pixel lineup, include the Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, and Essential PH‑1.

As for Android P itself, there are a lot of new features.  First, the UI has moved to a more gesture driven experience with the ability to enable swipes around the UI to open up the app tray and a new app system navigation view.

The new navigation view is much easier to use as you can easily swipe side-to-side to find open apps and open them.  Swipe up on them and they close.

Android P System Navigation UI
Android P System Navigation UI

Digital wellbeing is also a key part of P going forward.  A new dashboard shows you how much time you are using particular apps and there are new features to help you wind down usage and even limit usage after a certain amount of time.

A new adaptive battery feature is aimed to save battery life on your device by limiting the amount of background activity an app can have.  This is something that was uncovered in the first release of P but has been significantly matured in this update.

Screenshots from the Power button are now native too!  Woot!  This is something a lot of other manufactures have done but now it is part of P out of the box.

Screenshots on the Power Button in Android P
Screenshots on the Power Button in Android P

Undoubtedly there will be more details uncovered as this new Developer Preview gets out on more devices but early indications are that this is going to be a very nice evolution of the platform.