P for Prom­ise

The An­droid P up­date brings in some rad­i­cal changes for users And de­vel­op­ers.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS - by nidhi sin­gal

The up­com­ing An­droid P from Google looks re­fresh­ing and brings a lot new fea­tures to the ta­ble

At an SRCC event in De­cem­ber 2015, Sun­dar Pichai, CEO, Google, said, “In the tech­nol­ogy world, ev­ery­thing changes at such a fast pace. A lot of what we do is fig­ure out what the next phase is... you have to rein­vent your­self.” In line with this thought, the tech­nol­ogy gi­ant has launched the next An­droid up­date – the An­droid P – af­ter An­droid Nougat in 2016 and the An­droid Oreo in 2017. What’s in­trigu­ing about this new up­date is that it prom­ises to bring in some big changes – think new ges­tures for nav­i­ga­tion and in­tel­li­gent fea­tures to pre­dict ac­tions and sav­ing battery, etc. This new OS up­date is be­lieved to have the po­ten­tial to give a fresh twist to the An­droid smart­phone ex­pe­ri­ence. While there is still time for the full up­date to hit the mar­ket, we tested a few fea­tures of An­droid P on the Nokia 7 Plus.

Ges­ture Nav­i­ga­tion: Nav­i­ga­tion but­tons have made way for swipes in the An­droid P up­date. In­stead of the home, back and mul­ti­task­ing but­tons, a pill-shaped icon at the bot­tom will be your home but­ton. Long press the home icon to launch Google As­sis­tant; swipe up from the bot­tom to load the app switcher show­ing run­ning apps; and swipe up twice to launch the app drawer. The back but­ton ap­pears in cer­tain apps/menus when needed. Hold­ing the home but­ton and scrolling it to the sides also shows the run­ning apps. Split screen mode is easy to ac­cess – tap on the app icon in the app switcher mode and se­lect split screen. Swip­ing the app card up­ward

in the switcher mode will close the app. The new ges­tures and the all­new in­ter­face may seem tricky at first, but is con­ve­nient to nav­i­gate on phones with big­ger dis­plays.

Vol­ume Short­cut: An­droid P brings in a new way to con­trol vol­ume. Press­ing the vol­ume but­ton dis­plays a short­cut to switch the phone to silent or vi­brate mode, shows a vol­ume slider and of­fers quick ac­cess to sound set­tings. Press­ing the vol­ume up and power key to­gether en­ables vi­bra­tion for in­com­ing calls and no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Bet­ter Battery: With An­droid P, Google is rolling out two fea­tures to en­hance battery life on An­droid phones. The adap­tive bright­ness fea­ture that has been around for a while will now learn about how and when a user ad­justs the screen bright­ness and au­to­mat­i­cally do the same based on the en­vi­ron­ment and ac­tiv­ity. The adap­tive battery fea­ture will also learn the us­age pat­tern of a user in or­der to of­fer a bet­ter battery backup. It will limit battery us­age for the in­fre­quently used apps, too.

Smarter No­ti­fi­ca­tions: If you reg­u­larly dis­miss a par­tic­u­lar notification, An­droid P will present you with the op­tion to turn it off, so it does not pop up again. The up­date will also bring a smart re­ply op­tion to re­spond to emails from the no­ti­fi­ca­tions list it­self.

Ac­tion and Slices: Us­ing ma­chine learn­ing, An­droid P can pre­dict what the user is go­ing to do next. Ac­tions will show up op­tions in launch­ers, smart text se­lec­tion, Play store, Google Search app and as­sis­tant. For in­stance, when you plug in your head­phones, the phone will re­sume play­ing the song that you last heard, ex­actly where you left it or when you copy text it will show apps where you are likely to paste it. Slices, on the other hand, will show a slightly larger in­ter­ac­tive snip­pet when you search for con­tent and apps us­ing Google search. For in­stance, when search­ing for a cab ser­vice, it will show you the time taken and fare for the ride to work.

Dig­i­tal Well-be­ing: This one dwells on in­tro­spec­tion. Google’s dig­i­tal well­be­ing ini­tia­tive will help users an­a­lyse their phone us­age and even help in cut­ting it down if re­quired. The Dash­board op­tion will show the num­ber of hours spent on the phone, on a cer­tain app, the num­ber of times the phone was un­locked and the num­ber of no­ti­fi­ca­tions re­ceived. Users can also re­strict their us­age of a par­tic­u­lar app us­ing the timer – the app will grey out on the home­screen once the limit is crossed. There is also a ‘Shush’ fea­ture by which if the phone is placed in a way that the screen touches the ta­ble, the do-not-dis­turb mode will be turned on.

The beta ver­sion of An­droid P is avail­able for down­load on Google Pixel de­vices and a few other smart­phones.

op­tions to stop un­wanted no­ti­fi­ca­tions

Ver­ti­cal carousel for re­cent apps

ac­cess split screen from re­cent apps

press Vol­ume key once for vol­ume set­tings

turn on ges­tures from Set­tings

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