Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

First developer preview of Android P released

First developer preview of Android P released

Earlier this week, we mentioned that Google was expected to launch the first Android 9.0 Developer Preview build in about two weeks. "You can check whether the current device has a cutout by calling getDisplayCutout (), and then determine the location and shape of the cutout area using DisplayCutout", writes Dave Burke, Google VP of Engineering.

Android P will not support the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C tablet, though Android 8.1 did. It also said that, starting in November 2018, all apps sent through to the Google Play Store will need to target Android Oreo or newer, and, by next year, they will need to support 64-bit hardware. Just keep in mind that this update is intended for developers, so while you may be eager to try out the new features listed above, you might want to hold off on the Android P Developer Preview unless you've got a backup phone. Aside from the expansion to more Android phones, Google also promised that Lens would also be available via the Google Photos app for iOS users. Sorry folks, no Android P for those devices. If you have any better ideas, please drop a comment and let us know!

It should go without saying that as this is such an early preview, it is likely to be pretty unstable and lacking numerous features and refinements that will eventually find their way into Android P, but this developer preview is here for the curious to try out.

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The final version of Android P will be available for download on the Pixel devices mentioned above at some point in the third quarter of the year, likely in August. This is due to the three devices launching back in 2015, which means they've collectively come to the end of their software upgrade cycle and will thus stay on Android 8.1 Oreo. Android P includes new features such as official cutout support - the notch is here to stay - and other under-the-hood improvements for developers to begin using in apps.

Google originally announced its plans to expand Lens out to more devices at Mobile World Congress last week.

Android P's improved security features, including encrypting data traffic and enhanced biometrics, are poised to help establish Android as an enterprise-ready OS, as noted by TechRepublic's Conner Forrest.

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For more information about the beta, take a look at our guide.

Google explains that you can download the latest Developer Preview system image and manually flash it to your device. Moreover, Google has also added support for Smart Replies in the notification so that you can quickly reply to messages.

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