Top 5 Android P Features
New and Redesigned Interface
In Android P everything is ’round’ ⭕. The notifications, quick settings, toggles, the icons within the settings search bars, the transparent dock on the pixel launcher and so on. Some people may like it and other might not, but I personally liked it. However, you might feel like a theme added from Google Play Store.
Apart from rounding everything, Google continues its efforts to provide a basic dark and light theme based on the colour of the devices current wallpaper on its quick setting toggles, app drawer and even Google feed panel are affected.
I would have loved to see a dark theme for the notification cards, settings and Google cards to create a pattern on consistency, may be with the next update.
The next major change with the Android P is the launcher. The gradient background featured in Oreo has been replaced with a semi-transparent shelf which also stays put when you long press on the wallpaper. There is also a microphone icon on the search bar to launch voice assistant and the page/ scroll indicator is now tucked within the shaded dock.
If you are using android for work then you will have two separate apps in the app drawer, one for work and the other for personal apps. These are not so big of a change but I do appreciate the tiny details Google has added on the Android P.
Volume and Power Menu
One of the coolest changes in this update is the Volume controls. They are now moved towards the volume rockers at the sides, almost like the power menu at Android 8.1. There is also a second square located beneath the volume slider and tapping on it will cycle between the different ringer modes. If you tap on the arrows, a menu will slide out and quickly view your connected Bluetooth devices or connect or disconnect them.
Now by default the volume buttons now control media volume and not the ringer volume as per the previous versions of Android. You can still configure individual volume levels in the sound settings by long pressing on the second square beneath the volume slider.
The power menu now has a third option named ‘screenshot’ which if you have not guessed takes screenshots. You can still take one by holding down the power and volume buttons at the same time, in case you did not knew already.
Lastly, there is a fourth button in the power menu that you can enable in the settings under lock-screen preferences called ‘Lockdown’. This mode is meant to temporarily disable fingerprint based access to enhance security. The only signing method that will be accepted then will be PIN or pattern recognition password methods. Once you unlock, everything will go back to normal.
The icons in the settings menu are now colourful for visual differentiation between each block of text, but this is debatable. There were several other changes slipped-in, starting with developer options, there is a new setting called ‘feature flags’, which holds a set of experimental features, kind of like chromes hidden flag menu but less descriptive. Most of them were already enabled by default but there are a few that were not. The one labelled ‘settings_about_phone_v2’ gives you a different looking interface when you hop into the about phone menu and the one labelled ‘settings_bluetooth_while_driving’ automatically enabled Bluetooth while you’re driving. It is not clear what every single one does but if you are interested in knowing what most of them does you can read this article here.
Under the Wi-Fi settings, now it is easier to meter a Wi-Fi network instead of having to find it within the ‘Data Saver’ settings. Do Not Disturb mode has been modified again and this time it is simpler. Toggling it in the quick settings now only performs the old default action for duration selection and pressing the volume down key no longer enables it. Within setting you still have similar configurations but real based difference are no longer possible.
In the battery section, we no longer have the per app battery usage data but you can access them within the developer options under the Android 8.0 battery settings which is very inconvenient. Battery Saver can now be scheduled to automatically turn on from anywhere between 5 percent and 70 percent instead of 5 percent to 15 percent.
In the notification settings you can now easily track which of your app have recently sent notifications. Three new themes have appeared within the display section, narrow display cutout, tall display cutout and wide display cutout, which provides a snappy virtual notch at the top of your screen.
There is no longer a system UI tuner, you cannot change the strength of the touch vibration and turn of the vibration in general when you receive a phone call or notification within the accessibility settings. The Easter egg is extremely colourful and changes colour each time you open it.
There are a plenty of smaller features and modifications within this huge update, that you may find useful. We will try to cover as many as possible in this article.
- Starting with the screenshots, now you can mark them up but that only works on the Pixel two.
- There are some nice transition animations when you switch apps or switch an activity.
- When you do not have auto-rotate enabled and you turn the device to landscape or portrait, a small button will show up in the navigation bar offering you to change the rotation.
- Text selection also shows a more precise zoom lens.
- The unlock pattern now fades out as you swipe.
- The nightlight will now tells you when it will turn-on, if you have a schedule for it.
- Display signs now show the battery percentage at the bottom.
- Alarm tile shows you the upcoming alarms.
- Adaptive brightness animates the quick settings slider as it changes.
- Lastly, the USB menu is now a full fledged menu instead of a pop-up when you connect your device to your desktop.
These are the Top 5 features of Android P that we have compiled for you. Please be aware that this is only the first release and some of the features can be removed or changed in the future updates.