Android P Developer Preview now available, adds official notch support and more

By | 7th March 2018
Android P logo official

Surprise! The first Android P Developer Preview is now available.

Google today unleashed the first preview version of Android P, the next major update to its mobile operating system. The Android P Developer Preview is available for the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2, and Google Pixel 2 XL. You can download the factory images for flashing to your device right here.

As you'd expect from a major new Android release, there are quite a few new features to be found in the Android P Developer Preview. Perhaps the most notable addition is official support for notches, or as Google calls them, "display cutout for camera and speaker". This move makes sense considering that we've already seen several Android phones come to market with a display notch.

Android P official notch support

Also coming with Android P are notification improvements. The notifications and Quick Settings panel have rounded corners in the Android P Developer Preview, and messaging apps can display images in notifications, save replies to drafts when you accidently close a notification, and use the same suggested replies that you'd find in your messaging app.

Android P messaging notifications

There are lots of other goodies coming with Android P, like indoor positioning with Wi-Fi Round-Trip-Time (RTT) support, which lets your phone find your position indoors using nearby Wi-Fi access points. There are also improvements to the Notification Channels added in Android Oreo, support for accessing streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras, support for HDR VP9 Profile 2 video and HEIF images, autofill improvements, and security enhancements.

There's no word yet on when Android P might launch to the public or which dessert Google might choose for the final release.

We'll have to wait for the public Android P launch before we know which features will make the final cut, but this Android P Developer Preview looks like a nice release from Google. There aren't any major changes, but at this point in Android's life, we wouldn't expect any. What there are are several nice improvements to make using an Android device better, like making Android play nicely with the display notches that appear to be the next big trend in mobile and making using notifications from your messaging app better.

What do you think of the new features found in the Android P Developer Preview? Will you be loading this release onto a device?