Android P: All functions you must bear in Mind is Security

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Android P arrives this year as the successor to the excellent Android Oreo. So far, it seems that the update continues with the same string as the previous version. The team of Hiroshi Lockheimer must take time cleaning the code and satisfying the wishes of the manufacturers. Among its most interesting features is that the camera app will be more secure than in its predecessors. Of course, we still do not know anything about the name, but the Android P Developer Preview is now ready to flash.

Android P is here!

You can now download the Android P Developer Preview and manually flash it on Android Developers. At the moment, it is only available for manual installation on four devices: Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2XL.

 In addition, we will explain the new features and everything you need to know about Android P.

With Lockheimer, Google established a sensible launch plan for new versions of Android. This takes place in several stages and is repeated annually.

The beginning of the public life of Android P should be with the first preview for developers. It seems that all the rumours point to a fun date for the Pi-day event, the day of the Pi number, which is celebrated on March 14, according to the American date where they put the month ahead of day 3-14. Evan Blass reaffirms in this tweet that we will see the preview in the middle of the month.

It will not be until the Google I / O developer conference when we officially see the beta version of Android P. All the preliminary versions must be available for download on Google Pixel devices.

Nokia can also participate in the public beta version. In addition, HMD Global also confirmed that it will supply Android P for the Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 8 models. Other manufacturers have not yet made any promises regarding Android P updates.

What will the P mean?

The name that Google will use in Android P is something that is usually announced during the summer prior to the release of the final version through social networks. Until then, there are many conjectures. Technology blogger Marques Brownlee and Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer joked about Peppermint.

Functions of the first Developer Preview

When we all expected the Android P Developer Preview to arrive on March 14, Google gave the surprise with its launch on the night of the 7th. This is not the final version of Android 9.0 but it helps us to take a look at some of the functions that they could be part of the final version.

  • Notch Simulator: developers can see how the much commented and already hated notch on the screen effects and optimize their applications accordingly.
  • Multi-camera API: simultaneous transmissions can be accessed from two or more cameras with Android P.
  • Improved messaging notifications: the ability to show images, stickers, full conversations, quick response suggestions …
  • Indoor positioning: with the WIFI IEEE 802.11mc support, applications can detect the distance of the access points by triangulating the user’s position in indoor environments.
  • Open Mobile API for payments with NFC and secure transactions: developers can enable payments securely with smart cards.
  • Data cost and JobScheduler:  JobScheduler can use operator signals to control and manage pending tasks in case of network congestion.
  • ImageDecoder: Replaces BitmapFactory and improves support for animated images by providing better decoding, resizing and postprocessing.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) VP9 Profile 2: allows HDR to enjoy content from applications such as YouTube or Play Movies.
  • Application updates:  As of November 2018, Play Store will request Android Oreo API 26 or later versions for applications.
  • Applications in the background: they will not be able to access the microphone, the camera and other sensors automatically to ensure the highest security for users and prevent malicious apps from obtaining stolen photographs.
  • Restricted access to non-public APIs:  developers will need to migrate their applications or request new APIs from the Android Developer Team if they are not yet available.
  • Optimization of automatic compilation.

What do we expect from Android P?

Calls can be recorded

Android could now officially unlock a feature so far hidden and modify it to comply with applicable law. The recording of ongoing phone calls should be officially possible, according to Neowin’s analysis with Android P. Until now, there were only implementations of individual manufacturers such as Samsung, OnePlus or Xiaomi, which used the hidden Android APIs.

However, the new interface is implemented so that both people can hear a high 1.4 kHz tone every 15 minutes when recording is in progress. This could be agreed with the applicable law in some countries.

Android hides the functions when inserting some SIM cards

Providers can now install Android applications when a SIM card is inserted. Android identifies the SIM card provider and can recommend a list of applications to download through the wizard. Google also cooperates with suppliers in the development of Android. And this goes a step further.

A particularly controversial new feature is the disappearance of signal strength. Mishaal Rahman from XDA Developers seems to have discovered that Android P will allow providers to hide the signal strength bar in the status bar at the top of the screen when inserting the SIM card.

Just because the traditional diagram disappears, the state of the signal quality will not be completely hidden. You can still access the metrics through applications, although this detour through Play Store would not be a good idea.

Background applications will not be able to access the camera

As the XDA developer has discovered, Android P will block the use of the camera by applications running in the background. This may sound irrelevant at first, but it can significantly increase the security of your smartphone. Malicious applications can no longer go unnoticed to use the camera, for example, to take photos of the owner of the smartphone or to examine their environment.

Some attackers reduced the preview of the camera to a single pixel, making it practically invisible. This trick was discovered and denounced by other developers in 2014. Now Google finally reacts and makes the system a bit more secure with Android P.

Preliminary conclusion

Judging by the current state of affairs, Android P will be a smooth update that will clean up old features and refine existing ones. A quantum leap like Android Oreo with Project Trebleor Android Nougat with faster updates will not be the case with Android P.

The trick of the camera can increase security a bit, but it is not a milestone in the history of Android. But perhaps the great feature is hidden without being detected in a repository waiting for the merger.

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