Android P Developer Preview Arrives, Lovingly Embraces Display Notches And Revamped Notifications

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The first developer preview of Android P introduces a couple of new features, but there isn't a lot to get excited about just yet.

It's even providing a new Multi-Camera API for devices with dual rear- or front-facing cameras.

Google was expected to offer the Android P developer preview download this month and that is precisely what the company has done today. Messaging notifications can now highlight who is sending the message, show images, suggest smart replies, and more.

Of course, it's more than possible that Google's Android team will slip in a new Easter egg in future releases of Android P. However, for the moment we are not getting anything like the Flappy Bird clone game that was hidden away in Android 5.0 Lollipop, or even the black animated octopus that you could play with in Android 8.0 Oreo. The API also lets you call a logical or fused camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras.

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There are a couple of other new things in the first developer preview of Android P, including support for HEIF and new indoor positioning features. Naturally, Google has explicitly said that Android P is not for daily or consumer use, so don't put this on a phone you rely on.

ImageDecoder for bitmaps and drawables: ImageDecoder, which deprecates BitmapFactory, lets you create a bitmap or drawable from a byte buffer, file, or URI.

Jobs can now declare their estimated data size, signal prefetching, and specify detailed network requirements-carriers can report networks as being congested or unmetered.

So far, some features on the Android P seem to emulate quite a bit from Apple, such as the bubble-like notifications look borrowed from iOS and notch support for all the newly announced Android devices that have been copying the look iPhone X made mainstream. 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. On supported devices, apps can use the OMAPI API to access secure elements (SE) to enable smart-card payments and other secure services.

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