Android P has been making several changes to how it handles brightness, from a merely animated slider for adaptive changes, to the promise of machine learning-based improvements. And another new brightness-related tweak just trickled down in the recent Android P DP3/Beta 2 release yesterday: The slider now controls brightness on a logarithmic scale, rather than linear. 

This tweak was first spotted by defet_ of the XDA Portal Team over on Reddit, who notes that the previous linear configuration resulted in 90% of the perceived range being controlled by the lowest 20%, while the upper half had almost no visual difference. Now the difference in brightness seems more fluid across the entire range of the slider, though there is still some jank in the transition between values—apparently due to Google's flawed linear mapping of the brightness values onto this new logarithmic scale.

Since we humans tend to perceive brightness on a logarithmic scale, this tweak may actually make a significant difference in how easy it is to estimate which value we'd like on the slider visually, and at a minimum, it should change how often we have to fiddle with pixel-perfect settings at lower brightness at night.

  • Thanks:
  • Jordan