Android P is expected to be around August this year. Google has launched the first preview of Android P in March. Developers can now download the required things to develop new apps using Android P. According to sources, the new version of Android makes it easier for developers to create new apps for latest devices.
Notable features of Android P
There are many features in Android P such as built-in support for notches, display cutout support, animation, HDR VP9 video, multi-camera support, notifications, indoor positioning with Wi-Fi RTT and many more. We can see a few changes to the autofill framework for developers who write password managers. The privacy features of Android P restrict access to camera, sensors, and microphone.
Android developers who want to do machine learning on phones are lucky, as Android P brought some new features to the API. Additionally, Android P will support multiple operations such as – Mean, Div, Sub, Transpose, Pad, Squeeze etc. Here are some of the features app developers can take advantage of.
Android P support for camera cutouts, which are called as notches. This is similar to what we saw in iPhone X and Essential PH-1. According to sources, Android developers will now be able to change the height of the status bar to avoid letterboxing. Apps with full-screen content can be displayed around the notch. In short, developers will stimulate the notch to make sure that everything looks clean.
Android P has support for multi-camera API. Although this feature can be seen in many devices, you need to use pre-installed camera app to enable this feature. Android P allows developers to use features such as stereo vision, bokeh, zoom etc within the camera sections.
This feature makes it easier to watch HDR movies on HDR compatible devices. This feature was seen introduced in iOS 11 last year. This feature can compress images to less than half the size of JPEG without scarifying image quality.
Android P introduced a few features that support for informative message alerts. You will be able to see the messages in a particular context, send AI replies, view attached images and do many more. Users are allowed to check the notifications without opening the app and send replies instantly.
Security and privacy
Android P will restrict the access to camera, mic and other sensors from apps by setting them to default mode. Users will get a notification on the screen whenever an app tries to access the camera, mic, and sensors.
How should app developers prepare for Android P?
Remember that Android P is meant only for developers. With so many new features and functionalities, it might be initially a bit difficult for developers. However, developers can take advantage of it in new apps. For developers, all these changes mean it’s time to revamp existing apps. If you are creating new app, here are the steps to follow to ensure your app is ready for Android P.
a.) Go through Android P emulator preview and test your apps on the platform. Get the necessary SDK packages to build Android P apps. You need Android 3.2 to support all the features of Android P. Make sure to select Android P as system image while creating new emulator.
b.) Developers will be able to take advantage of all the features of Android P from May onwards. There are few requirements that must be met when for your app to work with Android P. The current version of the app i.e. targetSdkVersionshould be set to P. If the app uses foreground services, it must request FOREGROUND_SERVICE permission first.
c.) The app must get a new getSerial() method instead of Build.serial. You need to take READ_PHONE_STATE permission.
d.) As new features are introduced, background apps will no longer be able to access camera and microphone. App developers should also think of Cryptographic changes that have been made to enhance security. If developers are not sure about the changes they have to make, they can just test with the emulator.
e.) If you have e-commerce or navigation app, you have to ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permission in manifest. The Wi-Fi RTT feature of Android P allows the device to work how far it is from hotspot. As the ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION is considered normal, it is granted passively with no need for run-time permission.
f.) To support notch look, app developers can use a DisplayCutout class to return to non-functional areas of display.
g.) Android P brings more functionality to display images in message notifications. To display images in messages – use new person class to get information about contacts, identify the source of conversation using setGroupConversation() and set semantic actions for intents with setSemanticAction() method.
There are plenty of upgrades and tweaks for developers. So, get the full list of features to take advantage of the new Android P.
App developers need to work on the new features, especially if the app uses background services. Those with simple apps won’t have too much homework. However, if you have a complicated app – you must work on it to prepare it for Android P. Making an app compatible with Android P is the key to your future in mobile app development.
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