Google announces some great new features in Android P, and the beta may be coming to YOUR phone right now

At Google IO today Google announced a number of great new consumer-facing features coming to Android P.

The update includes new iPhone X-like navigation gestures, which includes new task switching gesture, a new dashboard to help phone addicts manage their usage, improvements to Do Not Disturb, which besides blocking audible notifications, also blocks visual notifications.

The new gestures (via The Verge),  include:

  • 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 also features improved app shortcuts, called Actions, which are similar to secondary live tiles in Windows Mobile, allowing users to jump directly to a specific app action, such as calling a car on Lyft. Any 3rd party developer can create Actions and Google will use AI to offer these actions in a predictive fashion on the top of the App Drawer.

Slices are more like Adaptive Cards, allowing developers to offer an interactive view of their app in the search user interface for example where users can directly complete tasks.

Other changes are aimed to improve battery life (Adaptive Brightness and Adaptive Battery, which prioritizes the apps you use and learn how to manage your screen brightness throughout the day), shutting down unused apps and using AI to predict the next app you intend to launch.

Other features include native support for the Notch, Indoor WIFI positioning, new media codecs and more.

The update is available in beta for the following devices right now:

  • Sony Xperia XZ2
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
  • Nokia 7 Plus
  • Oppo R15 Pro
  • Vivo X21
  • OnePlus 6
  • Essential PH1
  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel 2

Adventurous users can sign up for the beta here.

See the Verge’s overview of the changes below.

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