The Android P is in the beta development stage, but its sheer imitation of the iPhone X hints the dearth of innovation at Google. Though the upcoming OS is not yet complete, whatever is known so far is enough to suggest Apple is becoming the trendsetter in the smartphone world.
One of the most noticeable imitations is the iPhone X-like navigation bar. In a blog post about the DNS security improvements in Android P, Google posted an image of something similar to the navigation bar, thus ditching a button at the bottom of the Pixel Screen. The navigation bar had a back arrow just next to an elongated strip, strikingly similar to Apple’s home indicator.
Stephen Hall of 9To5Google noted that the search giant is working on a gesture-based navigation bar design including the new pill-shaped button and redesigned layouts instead of a square “recents” button for a swipe-up gesture.
However, Google has not entirely imitated the iPhone X, and has retained some of the current Android features. For instance, in the iPhone X’s navigation system, one has to swipe up from the bottom pill to reach home. Google Android P, on the other hand, has retained a simple tap on the pill to go back home or to exit the multitasking screen. To access the Assistant, one still needs to tap and hold the pill and the current “flowery” animation would still be there.
After word spread of Google’s navigation bar, enthusiasts flocked to the post to have a look at the developer preview. However, the new navigation User Interface was missing, hinting that the company is still working on it. There are chances that it might not be released as part of the developer preview.
Another Google Android P feature suggesting the influence of the iPhone X is the notch. Though the Essential Phone was the first to come with a small notch on the top, it gained popularity only after it was introduced with the iPhone X. More Android phones are embracing the same design, for instance the Zenfone 5, OnePlus 6 and more. Now, the Google Android P is also bringing support for “cutout” displays, popularly called the notch.
The upcoming Android version would provide support for cameras that are fixed into the screen so that the videos, apps and status bar function perfectly. The support for the notch could also hint of Google’s plan to debut a similar notch in the next Pixel phone.
Separately, talking of the Android P features not inspired by the iPhone X, Google would improve the password autofill feature. With the new feature, the users would not require typing in sections while filling forms, passwords and so on. The Google Android P would also allow viewing the picture messages in the notification just by swiping down the notification tab on their phone. This feature was not available earlier, indicating that the Android P would only make things simpler for Android users.
In addition, the Khronos Group announced the new Vulkan Graphics AP 1.1, two years after the original version was launched. Vulkan Graphic support first arrived in the Android Nougat. Now it is believed that the Android P would come with the Vulkan Graphics API 1.1 built-in.
With Vulkan Graphics AP 1.1 users would get the latest graphics, but it is the developers who will get access to a host of new features. One of the biggest changes that would come in the Vulkan Graphics API 1.1 is the inclusion of Subgroup Operations enabling improved sharing and manipulation of data into a number of tasks that run alongside GPU.
Other new features include support for secure playback and display protected multimedia content. Another addition to the Vulkan Graphics API 1.1 supports multiple GPUs on a single system along with the capacity to run the simultaneous multiple images for demanding VR tasks.
Meanwhile, the search engine giant recently shared a new series of wallpapers for the spring on its Instagram account, supposedly for the Android P. The company did not confirm if these have any links to the still unknown name of the Android P. One of the spring wallpapers show a series of the warm weather desserts popularly known as popsicles.
Going by Google’s naming trend for Android, “Popsicle” turns out to be a believable option. However, this should be taken with a pinch of salt. We may never know what the real name is unless there is official backing to it. Previously also, guesses have been made about what the next iteration of Android would be called with some suggesting Pie while others are finding Pepsi more convincing.