It's that time of the year again. The days are getting longer, new hardware is being released, and Google has revealed the next version of Android. As of the March 7th release of the developer preview, we've worked our way down Alphabet's alphabet all the way to "P." We still don't know what P is going to end up standing for (Pineapple upside-down cake?), but by now we've got some idea for the changes present in this latest/upcoming version of Android. 

To paraphrase David, "I turned around, and it was Christmas." Thanks to all our tipsters— we ❤ you— our collective Android Police inboxes overfloweth in a deluge of developer discovery. We've spent quite a lot of our time playing with Android P to show you all its new features. In fact, I'm even using it full-time on my daily driver—not that I'd recommend you do that.

By all this, we mean to say that, while we might not have discovered every new feature, we've uncovered quite a few. So, for both your and our convenience, we've put everything we've found together into a list with (very) brief summaries. That way you can both catch up if you've fallen behind with our Android P Feature Spotlights, and track future Android P features separately.

(Note: A few features may realistically fall into more than one of our categories below, but we've done our best to place them where we think they best fit.)

Entirely new features

  • Inline photos and smart replies: Remember Reply? Now you have that built into Android. Developers can also add support for showing things like images and stickers in-line as well.
  • Screenshot editing: You can crop and draw on screenshots you capture. This has been a long time coming.
    • Update: DP2 added support for this feature on the OG Pixel, as well as general improvements in both the editor and notification.
  • Volume buttons control media volume by default: Android does a lot of things really well, but audio management probably isn't one of those things. Your hardware volume keys control different things, without much of an indicator until you actually press one. Now by default, it's set to change media volume, as opposed to the ringer (as in Android O and before).
  • Simultaneous connection of up to 5 Bluetooth audio devices: The limit in 8.1 was two, one for calls and one for media. But with P you can allow up to five devices to be connected at one time. No simultaneous playback, though.
  • Zoom lens for text selection: Like iOS has had since forever, when you select text, on P you can get a nice magnified view of the area above your finger.
  • Temporary rotation lock: A bit difficult to explain, but when you have rotation locked in portrait, a new icon appears on the nav bar when you turn your phone sideways that will quickly toggle to landscape, and vice-versa.
  • Alarm quick settings toggle: There's a new Alarm tile/toggle in quick settings. It shows the next alarm, gives you a shortcut to all currently set alarms and allows you to easily set new ones.
    • Update: And it's gone as of DP2, replaced by a bit of text above the brightness slider that shows your next alarm, if you have one.
  • App notification tracking: If you get an annoying notification, you can easily track down which app it came from. That should help cut down on notification spam (if you have problems with that).
  • Wired charging sounds: Google never fails to impress. They've managed to miniaturize the machine that goes ping into the Android P developer preview, triggering it every time you plug your phone into power. Ah, technology.
    • Update: The sound has changed as of DP2.
  • Chrome-like 'feature flags': You know how Chrome has a bunch of extra options called "flags" for enabling testing features or tweaking things? Now Android has the same thing, called "feature flags." Basically, all the unstable testing stuff with convenient toggles in one spot.
  • Pulling down the notification tray results in vibration: Pretty simple. When you pull it down, you get a bit of haptic feedback.
  • Offers to hide frequently dismissed notifications: If you keep dismissing the same notifications over and over, Android P will ask if you'd prefer to just have them be hidden.
  • Gesture Navigation: Like it or hate it, Android P DP2 introduced a new gesture-based navigation system (that was previously leaked by Google itself). It isn't a default yet, but it's certainly polarizing.
    • DP3 made a few tweaks to how gesture navigation works and added a convenient tutorial (since it is a bit confusing and unintuitive, visually).
  • New App Switcher: Gone is the vertical list of recent apps, replaced in DP2 by a horizontally scrolling gallery. It even works with the gestures which arrived with the same update. Interestingly enough, it's actually a part of the launcher.
    • DP3 overhauls the recents menu/apps switcher with some translucency tweaks and a rebounding animated effect.
  • App Actions: Detailed at I/O, App Actions are sort of like the existing app predictions in the Pixel launcher. But instead of simply recommending your next service, they take things one step further by recommending your next action. Developers need to build specifically for this, though.
  • Ring mode shortcut: Pressing the power and volume up keys together triggers a customizable command that enables the Vibrate or Mute modes.
  • Accessibility Menu: We can't actually find it yet, but Google assured us at I/O that P would include a new menu for motor-impaired users in the form of a convenient navigation bar shortcut.
  • Weather on the lockscreen: As of DP2, the local weather will be shown under the clock. Note, a later update to the Google app appears to have broken this in the short-term.
  • Calendar events on the lockscreen: It was previously part of the Pixel launcher, but now upcoming events in your calendar have joined the weather on the DP2 lockscreen. Again, a specific update for the Google app broke this. Only the version DP2 shipped with allows it to work (for now).
  • Automatic Color Adjustments: Discovered in some recent teardowns from DP2, it is rumored that the Pixel 2 may be able to dynamically adjust calibrated color modes based on content.
  • Android P will be Android 9: The version number increment in Android P will be a major revision, with a move from 8.1 to 9.
  • Camera laser sensor toggle: Added back in DP1, but unnoticed until DP3, Android P adds a toggle in the developer options for disabling the Pixel's camera laser sensors.

General visual changes

Modifications to existing features

Privacy tweaks

  • Apps can no longer access mic or camera in the background: Probably not great that they could do that before, but for the privacy-conscious, now you can be sure they aren't.
    • Update: As of DP2, notifications will show if the backgrounded app has requested permissions including the use of your camera or microphone.
  • Fingerprint dialog consistency, unencrypted HTTP block for some apps: Google has introduced a new API for fingerprint sign in, hoping to make things more visually consistent when apps ask for your digits' details. Android P also blocks by default all cleartext traffic for apps that use Network Security Configuration, though it can be individually disabled per-domain if need be.
  • Lockdown option to disable fingerprint sensor and other less secure login methods: A new "lockdown" option in the power menu disables potentially involuntary methods of entry into your phone. When enabled, no one can use your voice, fingerprints, or location to get inside.
  • MAC address randomization: Helps prevent tracking on public networks. Long overdue, even if it's just an experimental feature right now.
  • More granular phone permissions: A new permissions structure in Android P moves the call log permissions into their own group, so apps can't see your call history without a separate request. The change in permission structure should also prevent potential phone redirects.

Under the hood/API/developer stuff

So far, these are all the new features we've found in Android P, but be sure to check back in if you're following our feature spotlight coverage. And, as always, tips for undiscovered features are welcome.

Stuff discovered in Google's latest Android P DP2 images has now been added, as well as features announced at Google I/O

All the things we've found in the recent Android P DP3/Beta 2 are also now included.