As expected based on the timelines provided by Google, Developer Preview 3 of Android P has been released for those in the Android Beta Program. The release of this second public beta is an important milestone for the next version of Android as it finalizes the API set for the build so developers can begin in earnest testing and updating their apps to be compatible with them.
There are not a significant number of changes between the first beta build and this one overall. Most of the updates are fixes behind the scenes as well as updating some security permissions, particularly how the phone call log is accessed. There are also 157 new emoji in this build.
A new commit in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository suggests that facial authentication is coming to Android as a system level API. It could mean that from system point of view, Android P could well allow for facial authentication on devices, assuming of course that the hardware to do so is built into the device.
Currently, for manufactures to support facial authentication (like OnePlus for example), they have to build their own app and leverage existing APIs, mostly around the fingerprint authentication. That works, obviously, but it isn’t as optimized as it could be and it is dependent upon OEMs to build the supporting software & hardware to make it happen. This commit would more-or-less standardize things for Android.
With the release of Developer Preview 2 for Android P yesterday, there was also a new wallpaper amongst all the new features of the build. The thing is, if you upgraded your phone to DP2 from the Android Beta Program, you didn’t get the new wallpaper… until now.
Thanks to Semih Celik, it is now available for everyone. Semih posted it on his G+ page yesterday and I have no added it to the wallpaper page here on the site as well as to this post after the break.
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.
Today in Mountain View, California, the home of Google, the tech giant will be kicking off their annual developers conference. Google I/O is one of the more important events and is the second developer conference going on this week behind Microsoft’s Build conference.
The event kicks off this morning at 10:00 am Pacific (1:00 pm Eastern) with the keynote address from Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. You can watch the streaming of his keynote on the Google I/O site, https://google.com/io for free.
Ah, the fun of trying to read between the lines… or in this case, a wallpaper. Google released a set of wallpapers yesterday on their Instagram account for Spring 2018. That in itself is not news. The Mountain View company has released such seasonal wallpapers for several years now. But what grabbed everyone’s attention was this one:
The Android faithful know the next major version of Android is currently referred to as Android P. And Popsicle starts with P. Is Google giving us a bold and clear hint?
Google has released the first Android P based developer preview of Wear OS today, giving developers a chance to take a sneak peak and giving consumers a preview of what to expect in the next major release for the platform. The developer preview is aimed squarely at developers and only works on the Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth or Huawei Watch 2 Classic Bluetooth. Installing the preview is a manual flashing process and Google has made it clear, this is not ready for consumers to test out.
As for as new features are concerned, there are some exciting ones to look forward to in this build. A dark theme will now be available and will be set as the default. This should improve glanceability of notifications and other information on watches.
A new commit in the Chrome OS Gerrit suggests that Android P framework testing is already underway for the platform. This could allow for P support to roll out at the same time or very close the release of the update for phones later this year.
As readers may know, Android apps in Chrome OS run in Android Framework, which was updated to Nougat last December in Chrome 61 but, interestingly, the Oreo framework never rolled out. The reason for the skip isn’t clear but it could have simply been focus shifting to get as many Chromebook builds updated to run Android in general. The number of Chromebooks supporting Android apps has significantly increased over the course of the last year, in particular the last four months.
The framework is what allows Android apps to run in Chrome OS and for developers, gives them a standard API level across Android devices and Chromebooks so their apps will run on both and with the same feature sets.