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Android P feature spotlight: New autofill APIs improve compatibility with password managers (Updated)

With the release of Android Oreo, Google included an autofill API to allow for system-wide filling in of details such as account and credit card info. The framework manages communication between Google's autofill service and other apps, and it's great for both saving time and avoiding errors.

The first developer preview of Android P has just arrived and it brings a number of new APIs to the autofill framework, as well as some bugfixes. Specifically, there will be improvements to dataset filteringinput sanitization, and compatibility mode.

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[Update: Petition, Issue tracker] Android P prevents Substratum themes from being used

Substratum is a rootless way to install custom themes on Android Oreo. When it burst onto the scene around September of last year, it instantly became a crowd favorite; people loved the ability to reduce the increasing amount of whiteness Google was shoving into Android. However, it seems like Google wasn't happy with this, as Substratum and custom overlays in general are no longer functional on Android P.

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[Update: Work and Personal tabs in drawer] Android P feature spotlight: The Pixel Launcher's dock is now shaded (APK Download)

The launcher is arguably the most frequently viewed screen on your phone, and it's also one that Google thoroughly enjoys playing around with. Of course, we couldn't have a new major release of Android without some change in the launcher, and this time is no different.

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[Update: Not new] Android P feature spotlight: Bug reports can now be accessed in the Files app

Tons of interesting little morsels have been uncovered in the first developer preview of Android P, and there are probably a few more surprises waiting to be found. Bug reporting can now be added to the list of improved areas. As before, you can report a bug from the developer options settings menu or with the power button shortcut if you enable it. Now, you should be able to view reports you've made via the Files app on your Pixel phone.

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Android P feature spotlight: Developer options has a hidden list of 'feature flags,' just like Chrome

Most of us are already aware of the existence of Chrome's hidden flag menu, which holds an exceedingly long list of toggles for experimental features, but what you probably don't know is that Android P now also includes a similar list that's hidden away in Settings.

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Android P feature spotlight: Per-network MAC address randomization added as experimental feature

The 'MAC address' is a unique identifier present on most devices connected to a network. Since the address is assigned during the manufacturing process, and often can't be changed, it is commonly used as a way of tracking people connecting to different networks. To combat this, several operating systems (iOS 8+, Windows 10, etc) give networks a randomly-generated MAC address.

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Android P feature spotlight: Mark WiFi as metered from the network details screen

Android is designed to be gentle with your mobile data, but all bets are off when you get on WiFi. Your phone will likely save large downloads until the instant you reconnect to WiFi, but not all networks should be treated the same. Some WiFi hotspots are metered, and Android P makes it quicker and easier to tell the device when that is the case.

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[Update: Still there, just hiding] Android P feature spotlight: System UI Tuner is nowhere to be seen

The System UI Tuner has never really been a feature for the masses. It was a way of hiding experimental features from the majority of users — you had to long press the quick settings cog to activate it — while still letting the more inquisitive of us play around if we wished. In the early Oreo developer previews there were quite a few interesting things in there, but by DP3 it was reduced to just a couple of status bar and DND settings. In Android P, it appears to have been removed entirely.

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Android P feature spotlight: You can now easily track which apps recently sent notifications

You probably get a lot of notifications on your phone. So many, in fact, it's easy to forget which apps were in that batch you just dismissed. Android P includes a handy menu that tracks recent notifications so you can disallow an app that's been pestering you in just a few taps.

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[Update: Solution] Android P feature spotlight: Battery menu no longer includes per-app usage data

The name of the game in Android updates is usually adding features, but occasionally we lose something. That seems to be the case in the battery menu. In past versions, you could see per-app battery usage in the system settings. In Android P, that's all gone. You can, however, see app usage in the developer options.

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