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Android P APIs Finalized as Release Candidate Nears

The next big Android mobile OS update is entering the home stretch, as developer APIs have been finalized and the dev team has issued an early release candidate build. The consumer release successor to Android O (Oreo, or 8.0) is scheduled for sometime this summer.

That early release candidate build is officially named Beta 3, the dev team announced in a blog post yesterday (July 2).

"With the developer APIs already finalized in the previous update, Beta 3 now takes us very close to what you'll see in the final version of Android P, due later this summer," said Dave Burke, VP of Engineering.

The team shipped an early developer preview in March, at the time touting simplicity, speed and numerous ways to extend apps. Google provided the following high-level view of what's new in the OS at that time:

  • An enhanced messaging/notifications experience
  • ImageDecoder to provide a modernized approach for decoding bitmaps and drawable images
  • An improved JobScheduler to better handle network-related jobs with data cost sensitivity, which means jobs can declare their estimated data size, signal prefetching and specify detailed network requirements
  • Display cutout support: The new DisplayCutout class helps developers discover the location and shape of non-functional areas where content shouldn't be displayed
  • Multi-camera APIs, providing access to simultaneous streams from two or more physical cameras, and more

Artificial intelligence (AI) has also come into play. As Apple has done with its iOS development program, Google has highlighted new capabilities enhanced by machine learning, specifically touching on an Adaptive Battery feature that uses machine learning to prioritize system resources for the apps the user cares about most, and App Actions, described as a new way to help developers raise the visibility of an app and help drive engagement.

In summarizing the latest update, which Burke said focused on bug fixes, security and stability and polish optimizations, Burke said, "Today's preview update includes the Beta 3 system images for Pixel devices and the Android Emulator, as well as an update to the Android Studio build tools to include D8 as an independent tool."

Burke invited developers to try out the new build that is mostly complete and provide feedback on Android P features such as:

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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