The release of Android Pie (aka Android P) was quite unexpected. Android P didn’t get a lot of hype either compared to its predecessor. As a matter of fact, Android P was released when Android Oreo was made available on just 2% of all Android devices. It was officially released as Android 9 Pie a month ago.
In this blog, we will be taking a look at what Android Pie is bringing to the table.
The first thing you would notice is the visual overhaul. Android P comes with a lot of visual changes. For starters, the quick settings pane received a makeover – something that almost every new Android version has in common. The nice rounded buttons and the smoothened edges of the quick settings menu seem to give it an iOS vibe. Still looks pleasant though.
Let’s deep dive into the Pie.
Fresh, optimized notifications
Just when we thought they can’t optimize notifications any further. Android P comes with a changed, much cleaner look for notifications. Notifications in P will have round corners, which looks good – part of what Google calls their ‘Material Theme’. But that’s not all. When you pull down the notifications tray, you will get a haptic feedback. In addition, notifications can now also display images.
Android P also has changes in its animations. Switching between apps now has a different, side-to-side animation which resembles that of an iPhone X. Nevertheless, the app to app transition is something nice to see.
Many many many camera API
Android P has a number of camera API which opens up opportunities to implement innovative ideas in dual camera devices including seamless zoom capabilities, dual cam stereoscopic shots, potential AR/VR capabilities etc. Android P also allows performing camera intrinsic calibrations for rectified images. All of this would certainly be a creative challenge for Android app developers, and a welcome experience for users with smartphones running Android 9 Pie.
Google apparently got even more serious regarding the security of their latest Android version. The Android P features an all new mode called Lockdown. When you toggle the Lockdown mode on, the phone disables biometric authentication and other less secure login methods. No one will be able to use your fingerprint to unlock the phone while you are sleeping. Lockdown mode deactivates when you log in again using your password.
Android Runtime improvements
Introduced as a replacement to Dalvik in Android Lollipop, Android Runtime (aka ART) is considerably improved in Android Pie which would essentially allow apps to start faster and use less system memory.
The Kotlin connection
Google announced support for Kotlin in last year’s I/O. As of now, it’s been revealed that apps for Android P written in Kotlin will be faster.
Restricted access to camera & mic
As technologies advance, we can also observe some shifts in user behavior, one of which being privacy concerns. Mobile users have grown more privacy conscious now as more and more apps seek permission to access their contacts and other information to offer supposedly better services.
Maybe Google took this into account when they placed some restrictions on apps installed on a device. As of Android P, apps will no longer be able to access camera or mic in the background. This could present a few hassles for app developers. If the backgrounded app wants the user’s permission to use camera or microphone, the user will be receiving a notification.
Battery saver has more names
The low-power mode in Android P apparently goes by more than one name, and features a configurable trigger to save power. The mode appeared as ‘Reduced power mode’ in the battery settings, and as ‘battery saver’ in the quick settings. It can now be configured to automatically activate when battery value falls to any specified charge level between 5% and 70%.
And the mode, once activated, doesn’t turn the status and navigation bar of the phone orange anymore. Once plugged in for charging, the mode deactivates like normal. However, the mode will turn itself back on if the charging power is cut.
AI-powered App Actions
Probably one of the coolest features of Android P. Google believes your smartphone should adapt to your life. So they used AI to make the phones smarter, giving the platform a new feature called App Actions. The feature suggests actions based on the user’s typical smartphone habits. For instance, if you plug in your headphones, App Actions may offer a link to the last playlist you were listening to. Convenient, right?
All of these features are just a few major changes that Android P comes with. The developers here at AoT are prepared to leverage what Android Pie has to offer to make cool new apps. Talk to us to craft an Android P experience for your business.