Looking ahead, today we're sharing the first developer preview of Android P, the newest version of Android. It's an early baseline build for developers only -- you're our most trusted reviewers and testers ;-) Early feedback from our developer community is crucial in helping us evolve the platform to meet your needs. We'd love to get you started exercising the new features and APIs in P, and as always, we depend on your early feedback and ideas, so please give us your input!
Here's a look at a few of the new features in Android P:
● Indoor positioning with Wi-Fi RTT
Android P adds platform support for the IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol -- also known as WiFi Round-Trip-Time (RTT) -- to let you take advantage of indoor positioning in your apps. Knowing the distance to 3 or more APs, you can calculate the device position with an accuracy of 1 to 2 meters.
● Display cutout support
Now apps can take full advantage of the latest device screens with fullscreen content. We've added display cutout into the platform, along with APIs that you can use to manage how your content is displayed.
● Improved messaging notifications
Try the new MessagingStyle notification style -- it highlights who is messaging and how you can reply. You can show conversations, attach photos and stickers, and even suggest smart replies.
● Multi-camera API
You can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras on devices running Android P. On devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras, you can create innovative features not possible with just a single camera, such as seamless zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision. The API also lets you call a logical or fused camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras.
Other improvements in camera include new Session parameters that help to reduce delays during initial capture, and Surface sharing that lets camera clients handle various use-cases without the need to stop and start camera streaming. We've also added APIs for display-based flash support and access to OIS timestamps for app-level image stabilization and special effects.
● ImageDecoder for bitmaps and drawables
Android P gives you an easier way to decode images to bitmaps or drawables -- ImageDecoder, which deprecates BitmapFactory. ImageDecoder lets you create a bitmap or drawable from a byte buffer, file, or URI. It offers several advantages over BitmapFactory, including support for exact scaling, single-step decoding to hardware memory, support for post-processing in decode, and decoding of animated images.
● HDR VP9 Video, HEIF image compression, and Media APIs
Android P adds built-in support for HDR VP9 Profile 2, so you can now deliver HDR-enabled movies to your users from YouTube, Play Movies, and other sources on HDR-capable devices. We're excited to add HEIF (heic) image encoding to the platform. HEIF is a popular format for photos that improves compression to save on storage and network data.
● Data cost sensitivity in JobScheduler
In Android P, JobScheduler handles network-related jobs better for the user, coordinating with network status signals provided separately by carriers. Jobs can now declare their estimated data size, signal prefetching, and specify detailed network requirements—carriers can report networks as being congested or unmetered. JobScheduler then manages work according to the network status. For example, when a network is congested, JobScheduler might defer large network requests. When unmetered, it can run prefetch jobs to improve the user experience, such as by prefetching headlines.
● Neural Networks API 1.1
In Android P we're expanding and improving this API, adding support for nine new ops -- Pad, BatchToSpaceND, SpaceToBatchND, Transpose, Strided Slice, Mean, Div, Sub, and Squeeze. If you have a Pixel 2 device, the DP1 build now includes an Qualcomm Hexagon HVX driver with acceleration for quantized models.
● Autofill improvements
Along with key bugfixes, this release includes new APIs that allow password managers to improve the Autofill user experience, such as better dataset filtering, input sanitization, and compatibility mode.
● Open Mobile API for NFC payments and secure transactions
Android P adds an implementation of the GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API to Android. On supported devices, apps can use the OMAPI API to access secure elements (SE) to enable smart-card payments and other secure services. A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) provides the underlying API for enumerating a variety of Secure Elements (eSE, UICC, and others) available.
There are many other improvements in Android P that are described in more detail at the link below.
Developers can download Android P here.