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Google Releases First Preview of Android P with Improved Notifications and Notch Support

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Mar 7, 2018, 1:24 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Google today made the first preview of Android P available to developers. The revised version of Android adds a number of user-facing features as well as tools for app writers. For example, Android P tackles notifications for messaging. Users will be able to see image previews in notifications, as well as better see who sent the message and select auto-responses. A new API for developers gives them more power over devices with dual rear- or front-facing cameras, and Android P adopts supports for the HDR VP9 Profile 2 and HEIF multimedia formats. Android P brings with it support for "display cutouts" similar to the notch on the iPhone X. This will let developers build apps that natively fit around notches or cutouts in device displays without losing information or features. Android P makes significant improvements to indoor tracking. It adopts the WiFi Round-Trip Time (RTT) protocol which helps narrow down users' location when inside by using WiFi-based triangulation. This will let apps add features such as indoor voice-guided navigation. Android P adopts a new version of the Neural Networks API for more AI-based operations; makes multiple improvements to the autofill framework; introduces a unified fingerprint authentication dialog and high-assurance user confirmation for better security; makes it easier for developers to add accessibility features to their apps; and ensures that Android P devices will be better able to decode various image types. In the Play Store, developers will find they can no longer use private APIs beginning in November 2018. All apps submitted to the Play Store will need to target Android 8 Oreo or higher. Android P Developer Preview 1 is available for download from Google's developer portal. Developers will need to manually flash the operating system to their phone from a computer. The over-the-air public beta is not available yet and won't be until later this spring. Android P is compatible with the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL handsets. Google expects to release the full version of Android P in the fall.

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