Android P has introduced further speed and performance enhancements for developers, and consumers alike. There are now new and innovative ways to consume content and apps. It now provides extension mechanisms for apps, which can be used to further extend the user interface and service functionality. There are updates on messaging styles, notifications, display output APIs, new and enhanced image decoders for bitmaps and drawable objects, and enhancements in the scheduler. Multi camera APIs are now in-built, which allow accessing multiple streams at the same time.
Let’s review some of the features and functionalitites
Android P enhanced the way we interact with notification by enhancing Android 7.0’s features to reply from within the notifications itself. There is a new Person class which enable easy identification and workings with the conversation participants. There is now support for the images as well which allows images in the messaging notifications. You can also save replies as drafts, and smart replies based on suggestions. You can extend notifications functionalities using a new feature called notification channels which can be configured individually for each type of notification.
This is very interesting features and a much awaited one. You can access streams from the front and rear camera at the same time. This enables new experiences to couple with the apps targeting image and video behaviors. Stream, simultaneous enhanced zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision can now easily be achieved. Whats more great is that you can add camera from outside source by using USB support.
You can now create an images which you can get from multiple sources e.g. URI, byte-buffer etc. You can set multiple image properties, e.g. scale and crop, after image decoding through the same API. Previously we used libraries like fresco and glide to enable rounded and circular effects, but now we can do the same with the same ImageDecoder API. What’s more is that it can return a mutable bitmap or drawable to be consumed by other libraries.
Now animations do not interface with your UI thread, and it is easy to include and render in a background thread automatically for the display of GIF and WebP format animations. What’s more is that you can use it with latest ImageDecoder API. Imagine circular and rounded animations with scale and crop functionality in-place.
HDR VP9 videos can now be delivered from YouTube, Play Movies, and other sources to High Dynamic Range enabled devices. Now you can get media metrics from audio and video sources i.e. from tracks, recorders, DRM etc. There is another API called AudioEffect API, which was a long sought after feature for media processing.
New enhancements are include to increase app and device security. Some of them include unified biometric authentication dialog, API signature key with key rotations, android protected confirmation, hardware security module, secure key import into keystore, key decryption on unlocked devices, etc. This is a lot of stuff in the new P.
There are a lot of other new features included as well in text processing and display, accessibility options, rotation enhancements, etc. I think we as developers are going to have a lot of power to create new libraries and apps. Its just a matter of time when a sizable portion of android user-base will get Android P on their devices.