Android’s Secret Future Will Be Revealed This Month

Google is warming up its latest sweet build of Android, and is ready to uncover the secretive work on Android P to the public. The next major version of Android is expected to make its traditional debut at Google’s I/O Conference in the second quarter of the year. Before then there will be a developer preview offering a first look at the future that should be arriving later this month.

Evan Blass has started the ball rolling this weekend, noting the middle of this month for Android P Developer Preview 1. That would fit in with previous release schedules and the timing for I/O 2018.

Android P is expected to put a lot of focus on device security. One feature already heavily discussed is locking down background apps’  access to your device’s sensors, so your camera will (in general) only be accessible to the program running in the foreground. Advanced call screening options have also been highlighted by some code snippets already available.

With the number of manufacturers looking to use designs similar to Apple’s notch on the iPhone X on the rise, this version of Android will likely accommodate tweaks to the screen displays for better handling of ‘cut out’ areas.

There were expectations of a ‘dark mode’ being built-in to the code (a popular feature that saves battery power on OLED displays) but it has been confirmed by the engineering team that this will be a ’toggle’ for developers to test dark modes in their own apps(“What we have added in a future Android release is a developer-facing setting (via Developer Options) to toggle the -night UI mode qualifier, which will make it easier for developers to create and test apps that implement night mode”).

Last year’s developer preview of Android Oreo was published on March 21st. Once this year’s preview is released, the assumption will be that Android P will be ‘feature complete’ with no major additions before I/O and the focus will be on bug hunting across the ecosystem. While there’s no clear steer on the actual release date, Android P is likely to be named after something sweet (as tradition dictates). Which probably means an Android Pie. And March fourteenth, 3/14, is as close to Pi as you’ll get on the calendar.