Android P may have made its official debut a couple of months ago, but today at I/O, Google introduced a number of new features for the impending update.
Perhaps the biggest change coming to Android P is a brand new way to navigate the operating system. You can now use gestures to move around the OS. Swiping up will bring up the new Overview, which will let you swipe through your running apps, access a Google search bar, and see five app icons. Swiping up again will bring you to your app drawer.
Google is also refreshing Quick Settings in Android P, giving you a better way to capture and edit screenshots, and making it easier to manage notifications. Another notable change in Android P is the simplified volume controls, which default to controlling the media volume but also let you quickly silence your phone or turn the ringer back on by tapping.
Another focus of Android P is your digital wellbeing. A new Dashboard will show you how you’ve been suing your phone, including which apps you’ve used and how long you’ve been in them as well as how many times you’ve unlocked your device that day. An App Timer will let you set limits on the amount of time you can use each app per day, and a Wind Down feature will turn the screen grayscale to make the screen easier on your eyes and make it easier for you to put the phone down and go to bed.
Also coming is an improved Do Not Disturb mode. With it, all of the visual interruptions that pop up on your screen will be blocked and all of your phone calls and notifications will be silenced. Google has even added a gesture called Shush that’ll let you enter Do Not Disturb mode when you put your phone face down on a table.
Other notable new features of Android P include Adaptive Battery, which will prioritize battery power for apps and services that you use the most, and Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like your screen brightness based on your surroundings. There’s also App Actions, which lives in your app launcher and aims to predict exactly what you want to do next. For example, if you connect your headphones, it might suggest a Spotify playlist.
Finally, there’s Slices. With this feature, apps can give you info on actions inside of apps when you search for that app. One example is that when you search for Lyft, you’ll see the distance, time, and price for your home and work as well as how close the nearest driver is to your location.
Android P Beta is available today to the Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel XL, and Pixel 2 XL. Google says that the Android P Beta is also available on seven non-Pixel devices: Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, and Essential PH‑1.