Mobile developers will be getting their first look at the next major version of Android when the first developer preview of Android P arrives later this month.
Mobile developers will be getting their first look at the next major version of Android, according to Evan Blass, better known as @evleaks on Twitter. The notorious leaker (more like an inside man, really) posted to social media that Google is aiming to deliver the first Developer Preview build of Android P around the middle of this month, which would peg availability in about a week or so. One thing developers are not likely to find in the preview build is a system-wide dark mode. Beyond being a preferred UI scheme for some mobile users, having a dark mode can help cut down on glare at night, which is why some GPS apps have it. Using a dark mode can also ease power requirements and potentially extend battery life. There have been hints that Android 9 (Android P) could include a dark mode, but Google dismissed the notion last month. The next version of Android is expected to support notches on the top of phone displays. Apple received a fair amount of criticism for slapping a notch on its iPhone X, but since its release, several Android handsets with notches have emerged, including ASUS’s ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5Z, Outkitel’s U18, and Leagoo’ S9. Purportedly leaked photos of the OnePlus 6 and LG G7 suggests that those phones will have notches as well. While nothing is official, there has been chatter of increased Google Assistant integration in apps and maybe even the home screen in Android P. Google is also expected to bake in support for other display schemes, such as phones with multiple displays and foldable screens, not just notches. In addition, Android P may include an alert tone when a phone call is being recorded. The biggest question, however, is what delicious dessert does the “P” stand for? One possibility is Pie, especially if Google’s mid-march Developer Preview falls on March 14, otherwise known as “Pi Day.” Or it could be Pineapple Cake, as Google hinted in an interactive Maps adventure in January. It will also be interesting to see if Google discloses the number of monthly active devices running Android. It was almost a full year ago when Google announced that the number had risen to 2 billion globally. The bulk of those are split between Android 7.x Nougat (28.5 percent) and Android 6.0 Marshmallow (28.1 percent), followed by Android 5.x Lollipop (24.6 percent) and Android 4.4 KitKat (12 percent). All the of remaining versions have a single-digit percentage of the Android landscape, with Android 8.x Oreo sitting at just over 1 percent (1.1 percent).