Android P is shaping up to be a substantial update for Google’s smartphone operating system, with new AI-powered features, a major navigation change, and a suite of tools aimed at curing smartphone addiction.

Google released a developer preview of Android P in March, but announced many more features on Tuesday during its I/O developers conference. The update will become generally available later this year.

AI everywhere

On Android P, Google is using its AI chops to improve battery life. By predicting which apps you’re likely to use at a given time, and shutting down other apps that are running in the background, Google says it can reduce CPU usage by 30%. Android P will also learn how uses adjust screen brightness in different situations, and will attempt make those changes on its own.

adaptivebattery Google

Android P will get smarter about shutting down background apps to save battery life.

Third-party developers will get to tap into Google’s AI powers as well. A set of tools called ML Kit will help them add features like on-device image labeling, face detection, text recognition, landmark detection, and smart replies to their apps.

Interface upgrades

Getting things done faster is another major focus for Android P. A feature called “App Actions” will suggest shortcuts from third-party apps, both within the Android app launcher and from the search bar. Users might be able to quickly launch a Google Play Music artist from the app launcher, for instance, or order movie tickets from Fandango while searching for Avengers: Infinity War.

android p actions resume music Google

App Actions will offer tasks from apps without having to launch them first.

There’s also a feature called Slices, which are similar to App Actions, but will allow parts of an app’s interface to appear elsewhere in the Android interface. While searching for Lyft, for instance, you might see a “Home” button along with estimated travel time, distance, and cost.

To further speed up navigation, Android P will take a page from the iPhone X and offer a swipe-based menu bar. In place of the home button, users will see a pill-shaped icon at the bottom of the screen, which they can swipe up to reveal recent and suggested apps. Another upward swipe will reveal the app tray. Users can also swipe horizontally on the pill to switch between recent apps. (Phone makers won’t have to use this menu bar, but it’ll be available by default on Pixel and Android One phones.)

As usual, Android P will also include some smaller—but still pleasant—improvements. Pressing a phone’s volume keys will no longer adjust ringer volume by default. Instead, they’ll control media volume, so the phone doesn’t start blaring unexpectedly from video or music playback. Quick access to vibrate and silent options will still be available, and the entire volume control slider will move from the top of the phone to the side, right next to the physical buttons.





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