Android P To make living with phone easier, less addictive

Android phone users are eagerly awaiting the next operating system, no matter what it’s called. 

Soooooo, what will it be called? For now it’s Android P. What the P stands for is anyone’s guess. Some of the guesses are really interesting.

More on that later.

The new OS will launch in the fall. You can sign up to test the beta version if you have a Pixel phone or certain models by Sony, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Essential or Nokia. So far, no Samsung phone is included on the beta list. 

The goal of the new operating system seems to be to make your life with your device much simpler and even helps curb device use.

To make things easier, Google’s new system learns how you use your phone and predicts what you will do next. A feature called “Adaptive Battery” looks at what apps you may be using in the next hours and reserves battery power to those apps. It will also figure out the best brightness setting for your phone through your setting choices and the ambient light available in your environment. 

“App Actions” will look at your usage and suggest an action. The app will be embedded in Android Launcher, Play Store, Google assistant and Google search. Also planted in search is Slices. This allows developers to open portions of apps without opening then whole app. Search for pizza and  a Slice from a Pizza Hut app could give you a price or location. You can order the pizza through the Slice. 

Android P will also allow you to use gestures rather than tapping the same button on the screen multiple times. How? Through a virtual home button that can be swiped up down or sideways, depending on the function wanted. 

The new OS will also offer a dash board that keeps track of your time spent in apps or on the phone. It will tell you how often you’ve unlocked the phone, notifications received – your habits.  Watch a lot of YouTube? You can now find out how much time you spend watching on your phone and desktop. You can use “Time Limit” to establish a boundary. Once you are close to the limit it starts to remind you. When your set limit is up, the app goes grey and is unavailable. 

Android P is adding a “Shush” feature to  Do Not Disturb. Flip the phone facedown and all notification is turned off except for contacts you have chosen. “Wind down” is a step further. Tell Google assistant when you want to go to sleep and it shifts into “Do Not Disturb” and the screen goes from color to greyscale. Color will be restored at wake up. The brain isn’t as  stimulated with greyscale so you should so you are less likely to use your phone.

Pixel phones phones will get Android P first, then Nokia. The rat will be late year or early 2019.

Oh, about that name. Google usually goes for sweet treats so it may be soothing like Pistachio Ice Cream, Peanut Butter or maybe even Pretzel. 

If your phone is eligible, you can try the beta version at android.com/beta. Time limits, Wind down and Dashboard will not be available on the first version.