Android P Beta now available for public testing
Google Announces Android P Beta with Adaptive Battery and Brightness Features. We already knew about some of the new features in Android P when Google released the first Developer Preview two months ago, but now Google finally gave us a first look at some of these enhancements that we bet most Android users out there can’t wait to enjoy on their devices.
Among these new features coming to Android P, we can mention adaptive battery to help you save battery life on your Android-powered device, adaptive brightness to also improve the battery life by allowing the device to adapt the screen brightness to the environment, app actions, and a new touch gestures.
“In Android P, we partnered with DeepMind to build Adaptive Battery, which prioritizes battery power only for the apps and services you use the most, to help you squeeze the most out of your battery. We also used machine learning to create Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness slider given your surroundings,” said Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android.
Additionally, Android P will come with App Actions, a new feature that promises to help you do your daily tasks more easily and quickly by using AI to predict what you will be doing next. For example, you’ll see new actions when you connect your headphones, such as to continue listening to your Spotify playlist. New system navigation is also coming to Android P with new gestures to swipe between running apps from your device’s homescreen more easily.
Of course, Android P will introduce dozens of other new features and improvements, some of which were announced in the past few months. Among those highlighted today at Google I/O, we can mention a new Android Dashboard to fight smartphone/tablet addiction, App Timer to set time limits on apps, new and smarter Do Not Disturb mode, Wind Down to automatically turn on Night Light when its dark, DNS over TLS and encrypted backups for better security, as well as protected confirmations.
To enjoy all these new features, Google announced today that Android P Beta is now available for public testing on the Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel XL, and Pixel XL 2 smartphones, as well as on the a limited number of other Android smartphones from Sony, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Nokia, Oppo, Vivo, and Essential, including the Nokia 7 Plus, Essential PH‑1, Sony Xperia XZ2, OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Oppo R15 Pro, and Vivo X21.
How to install the Android P beta
If you have a Pixel phone, the process is as easy as heading over to the Android Beta Program website and signing up for access to pre-release versions of Android P that will be updated over the next few months. Make sure you’re signed into Google with the account tied to the phone you’ll be using.
After you register, you’ll get a notification on your device about a system update being available. That’s Android P! Usually, it doesn’t take long to get that prompt, but since a ton of people will be rushing to install the new update today, you might have to wait a bit.
With the other phones
If you want to install Android P on the non-Google devices, it’ll take a bit of extra work. There’s no over-the-air installation method; you’ll have to flash your smartphone with the beta build of the operating system. That’s not terribly daunting if you’re good at following directions, but there’s always the risk of messing something up. It’s also worth noting that most of these companies aren’t offering customer support if you’re on the beta. Installing it isn’t going to void your warranty or some nonsense, but if you run into a bad bug or glitch, it’s up to you to solve it — or flash back to Oreo.
Sony XZ2: Details and instructions here
Nokia 7: Details and instructions here
Oppo R15 Pro: Details and instructions here
Vivo X21UD: Details and instructions here
Vivo X21: Details and instructions here
Xaiomi Mi Mix 2S: Details and instructions here
ANDROID P HOME BUTTON GESTURES
Tap: go to home screen
Long press: launch Google Assistant
Half swipe up: go to overview screen
Full swipe up: go to app drawer
Slide to right: scroll through recent apps
Back button: go back (only appears inside apps)
ANDROID P UI ELEMENTS
Home Screen: traditional Android home, where you place apps and widgets. Contains a dock with integrated Google search bar. Swipe right to get to Google Feed.
App Drawer: all apps listed alphabetically. Search bar and row of five predictive apps at top.
Overview: the multitasking screen. Search bar and row of predictive apps at bottom. (This is what you slide up to reveal the App Drawer.) Apps are arrayed horizontally with no overlap, and it’s possible to select text without opening app.
Most recent apps: similar to the overview screen, but it does not have predictive row or search bar. You can slide through about a half-dozen apps here.
Notification Tray: accessed by swiping down from the top. Also appears identically on the lock screen. If a phone has an always-on display, an alternate view of notifications appears there.
Quick Settings: simplified in Android P. Appears at the top of the Notification Tray. A second swipe down reveals more elements.