Android 9 is almost upon us; here’s everything we know so far about Android P
Very soon, Google’s 2018 I/O developer conference will be upon us. The firm announced the 8 May date in a cryptic tweet, which sent Sherlock Holmes wannabes to Google’s I/O interactive website – and we may have just cracked the code to Android P.
Read on to find out everything we know so far about Android P, including what Android P might be called.
Android P name: What will Android P be called?
It’s already a given that Android 9 will start with the letter P, and that it will be dessert-themed. But thanks to some major developments, we might already know which P-prefixed dessert name is on the cards.
Eagle-eyed Android developers discovered something potentially revealing in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Within the internal project notes, Google is seen making reference to Android Pi. Obviously, Pi isn’t a dessert, but there are plenty of tasty treats that begin with “Pi”, something that Google seemed a little keen to tease in a tweet announcing the I/O developer conference in May.
The tweet, which included a picture written in binary, sent detectives to google.com/io.
When you navigate to that website, you’ll find a Street View puzzle based in Google’s offices, which leads to a room. Inside that room is none other than an… a pineapple cake! An upside-down pineapple cake, to be precise.
It’s easy to put two and two together. So will Android P be called Android Pineapple Cake? We won’t know for sure until at least May, but it looks likely. Unless it’s a pineapple-shaped red herring, of course.
Android P release date: When is Android P coming out?
Google announced in January that the I/O developer conference would be taking place on 8 May. This is the point at which a developer preview will be released, and we’ll get our big name reveal.
If things all go to plan, and Google follows its previous release pattern, public beta tests should then occur in the following months. Android P will then be released into the wild in August if you have a Google Pixel device. If you have another Android device, you might be waiting a little bit longer as manufacturers optimise their phones for the new OS. Nokia has already confirmed that its 2017 devices will get Android P in 2018; however, Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC devices will likely not see Android P until 2019.
Android P features: What will we see on Android P?
We’re not sure if this is really a feature or not, but Google has hinted that it may soon be blocking hidden, unverified and undocumented APIs from being downloaded on Android devices, something that was discovered in the AOSP code by XDA. The “commits” found in the Open Source Project describe how a new tool called “hiddenapi” flags any blacklisted or greylisted APIs. This could change how developers use hidden APIs in the future.
Other than that, we’re not too sure what we’ll see on Android P, but here’s what we’re personally hoping for.
1. Less fragmentation of Android devices
Android fragmentation is getting worse. According to a report by Dan Luu, nearly half of all Android devices are two years out of date. This means a billion devices aren’t running the latest software. We want to see Google bring Android P to devices far quicker than currently predicted, as fragmentation is bad for the security of the device.
2. Better picture-in-picture support
Google made a big deal out of picture-in-picture at the release of Android Oreo back in 2017. The thing is, still to this day, not all of Google’s native apps still support it. We want to see Google roll out picture-in-picture to all of its inbuilt apps, and hopefully, this will spur on other apps to do the same.