Google has revealed more details about its forthcoming Android P update, two months after first releasing a version of the platform to developers.
The biggest feature undoubtedly a new theme called ‘Digital Well Being’. Google appears to have recognised a growing swell of opinion around smartphone addiction and this new function could just help make users’ more conscious of how much time they’re spending on their phones.
A special dashboard will now show users when and for how long they’re using apps, with the option to set specific time limits for each app. Best of all, app icons will be greyed out in a bid to stop smartphone owners tapping and opening the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Big G has also tweaked navigation within Android, making it look and feel a lot more like iOS. There’s a focus on swiping through menus and making gestures to open the likes of Google Assistant and the app drawer, rather than tapping, something which could change the way many people interact with their phones.
A new ‘App Actions’ tool uses AI to predict what users will do next within apps, such as showing a play button on the screen when plugging in headphones.
What’s more, screen brightness will adapt to the conditions using AI. And battery life will be adaptive to conditions, as Google continues to try and improve the length of time devices can last on a single charge.
Android P is available as a public beta on 11 phones, including the Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, Essential PH‑1 and Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.