Google is already working on Android P


WITH 99.9 percent of us still months away from seeing Android 8.0 Oreo ‘in the flesh’, it seems that Google is already thinking ahead to Android P.

With many of the handsets being unveiled at the moment, such as the Sony Xperia XY, the LG V30, and Samsung Note 8 likely to be still current by the time P rolls around, it’s reassuring to see that plans are already underway.

The boys and girls at XDA Developers have spotted that Master-P has arrived in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) or Stock Android git.

We can all speculate whether we’re looking at Peanut Butter Jelly this time, or Party Cake, Peach, or Pick n Mix, but if previous years are anything to go by, we can’t see it being confirmed before the launch, which is likely to be this time next year.

We can’t even be sure it’s going to be Android 9.0. It seems likely, but then Ice Cream, Jelly Bean and Kit Kat were all version 4.x, so nothing is carved in… stone (or whatever).

What is notable, though, is that we’re already looking at development. This could mean nothing. But equally it could mean that there are some big plans on the way for ‘P’ in terms of feature sets, bug fixes, or – maybe, just maybe – a whole new runtime to replace ART. It seems unlikely, but so did the removal of the Dalvik Cache.

At present the last version of Android being supported is KitKat 4.4.4, which dates back to 2013, so the long tail of Android fragmentation looks set to continue. It’ll be interesting to see if Android 8.0 Oreo starts to close the fragmentation gap anymore.

Tests for Android P are being run using the Pixel and Pixel XL but there’s not a lot of evidence as to what they do, as yet, it’s far too soon. So in the meantime, feel free to make wild, possibly stupid guesses. µ