Android P - what it brings and what matters for you and users
The next version of Android - P (Peanut, Pie, Pecan, Pi…)- is now available for developers and release to general public will follow - probably around mid May during Google I/O.
Here is Jayway's first take on some of the new features, and implications. We start with features, and then list restrictions as changes which may impact your current app.
The “Notch” - now on Androids?
Android P enable apps to consider cutouts in the screen. This is similar to iOS notch-support, enabling app developers to let the user interface adapt to screens with a curves and notches. There has already existed Android phones with “notches” for some time now, but with official support, we might be seeing more in the future.
Biometric sensors and FaceID?
There will now be a new standard system fingerprint dialog (FingerprintDialog).. Going forward apps should use the systemwide fingerprint dialog when asking user for fingerprint and not own designed dialogs.
Related to biometrics and authentication is also face recognition feature, like in the Samsung S8 and S9. While there is no mentions of framework support, we expect more devices with biometric sensors coming on Android, and thus in a near see native feature support for authentication like FaceID.
More Machine Learning
Android P introduces improved machine learning with upgraded Neural Network API 1.1 which will mean better use of for instance Tensorflow for devices which come with AI chips.
Indoor positioning with WiFi
With Wi_Fi RTT indoor positioning can be obtained with accuracy down to 1-2 meters. This means a lot of new possibilities ranging from indoor navigation and guidance to personalized or segment optimized marketing messages through marketing channels. Ohhh yes, Google sure knows a thing or two about your search history and much more...
Use multiple cameras at once
Apps will be able to use streams from multiple cameras at once. The obvious uses will be expanded field of vision, run live parallax or one front facing and one back facing camera at once.
Secure Element Access
Secure Element is typically used for NFC payments and access. With the new official OMAPI support, the access to use the Secure Element is no longer restricted to privileged partners, providing a range of new opportunities to players in the payment and identification space.
Enhanced user privacy
Privacy is at focus, with new restrictions regarding access to microphone, camera and sensors when an application runs in the background.
In order to enhance battery life, new restrictions are provided on how and when app use data and location and other battery consuming processes.
Block non-official APIs
Apps using non-official application programming interfaces will start to see errors, and will need to work with official Android APIs. This change will not mean all unofficial APIs will be blocked from day one, but rather gradually sharpened over next releases. Yet, developers will now need to check that official APIs are used, and start file request where they need more than what is officially supported.
Network connections will in Android P be default restricted to TLS (secure) unless and app explicitly opts-out.
Play Store Requirements
Android version restrictions
From November 2018 any apps that are updated on the Play Store MUST be build to target/support at least Android Oreo.
64-bit upgrade requirements coming
- Apps using native code must support 64-bit by 2019. This implies a bit of upgrading for older apps by the time this requirement is enforced.
The Jayway team stands by to talk more about the above changes, both ideas and what it means for your app.
Blogpost by Jeppe Leth & Lars Cimber.