Google has recently released the beta version of its upcoming smartphone OS flavor, Android P. If you own one of the supported devices and want to give it a try, here are some of the cool features you can expect from this Beta.
1) Adaptive Battery
Google wants Android P to be smarter by learning about your usage and adapt to it. When it comes to power management, Google partnered with AI research company DeepMind to build Adaptive Battery. This feature prioritizes battery power only for the apps and services that you use the most and limits it to those you rarely use.
2) Adaptive Brightness
Google has also implemented machine learning when it comes to managing the brightness of your screen with Adaptive Brightness. Compared to the standard “automatic” brightness on today’s phones, this feature learns how you like to set the brightness slider given your surroundings.
3) App Actions
Android P also brings App Actions which provides smart suggestions based on what you like to do the most and automatically anticipates your next action. Say you connect your headphones to your device, Android will surface an action to resume your favorite Spotify playlist. Actions show up throughout Android in places like the Launcher, Smart Text Selection, the Play Store, the Google Search app and the Assistant.
Slices share the same concept as App Actions but get the app more involved in the process. For example, if you search for “Lyft” in Google Search, you can see an interactive Slice that gives you the price and time for a trip to work, and it’s interactive so you can quickly order the ride.
5) New System Navigation
Google continues to put emphasis on simplicity in Android P. It still utilizes a clean UI with a more approachable with a brand new system navigation. It now implements gestures to enable navigation right from your home screen and to make the UI easier to navigate with one hand. Swiping up from the home button will reveal the newly designed Overview which shows full-screen previews of your recently used apps. Smart Text Selection (which recognizes the meaning of the text you’re selecting and suggests relevant actions) also works on Overview. There’s also the redesigned Quick Settings, a better way to take screenshots, simplified volume controls, and easier notifications management.
For those curious about how much time they spend on smartphones and how they use it, Android P brings the Dashboard which shows how you’re spending time on your device, including time spent in apps, how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, and how many notifications you’ve received. So the next time someone asks you how much time you spend on Facebook or how long you’ve binge-watched on Netflix, you can give them the exact number.
7) App Timer
Let’s say you don’t like the numbers you’re seeing on the Dashboard and you want to limit the time you spend on YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, or other apps, App Time lets you do just that. When activated, you can set time limits on apps and will nudge you when you’re close to your limit and then gray out the icon to remind you of your goal.
8) New Do Not Disturb mode
The Do Not Disturb mode is already available in Android smartphones, but it’s better on Android P as it silences not just the phone calls and notifications, but also all the visual interruptions that pop up on your screen. It also supports a new gesture: if you turn your phone over on the table, it automatically enters Do Not Disturb.
9) Wind Down
Android P will also help you relax after a long day with Wind Down. The feature will switch on Night Light when it gets dark, and it will turn on Do Not Disturb and fade the screen to grayscale at your chosen bedtime to help you remember to get to sleep at the time you want.
These are just some of the new nifty features of Android P and there’s more coming as it exits out of Beta. Android P Beta is available now on Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2 XL, Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, and Essential PH-1.