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Google announces Android P: Notch support, multi-camera API, indoor positioning, and more

We expected Android P to land in mid-March, possibly as a whimsical reference to Pie day (3/14), but it turns out we don't have to wait this long. Android P is now official and as with years past, we're getting the first developer preview today with zero allusion as to what the full name might be. The image above could be a bit reminiscent of popsicles, but that's possibly Google just trolling everyone.

There are many new features and APIs available to developers, but before we get started on that, let me answer your most urgent questions:

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Weekend poll: What do you think about 'the notch?'

ASUS' latest flagship, the ZenFone 5Z, might sound like a great value for the specifications, but it hasn't been an omnipresent part of the Android conversation for the last week online just due to pricing. At its launch event at MWC last week, ASUS didn't only reveal a new phone, it also showed off a big new iPhone X-style sensor/earpiece cutout.

It's been a polarizing development in the world of Android, and almost everyone has an opinion on the subject. From the Essential PH-1 to the alleged upcoming LG G7 (Neo), solutions for increasing display size while retaining sensor space cover a variety of shapes.

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It turns out that Essential was granted a patent for a no-notch screen with a popup camera in 2017

Many of you were probably wowed by the Vivo Apex, a concept phone with way too many futuristic things on board, at MWC 2018. The Apex has extraordinarily small bezels and an in-display fingerprint sensor, but arguably its most innovative feature is its popup front-facing camera that allows it to avoid the dreaded notch. Andy Rubin has revealed that a patent for this solution was granted to Essential Products, Inc in 2017.

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Huawei P20 Lite leaked, showing similar design to P20 but with rear fingerprint sensor

A few days ago, the Huawei P20 was leaked with a brand-new design. Many people, myself included, weren't fans of it, especially because of the fingerprint sensor that was crammed into the front bezel. But if you were okay with the rest of the design, perhaps you'll find the P20 Lite more to your liking.

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Bloomberg: Android P will have notch optimizations and more Assistant integration

We're expecting Google to drop the first developer preview for Android P in the coming weeks, assuming it holds to the same approximate schedule from the past two years. According to a report from Bloomberg, Android P may include support for a particular hardware feature: the notch. Devices like the Essential Phone with a "notch" missing from the display have some UI peculiarities, and Google may be looking to get ahead of things.

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[Update: Probably fake] Alleged pictures of 'Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s' show iPhone X-like notch

Xiaomi has never shied away from copying Apple, especially when it comes to design. Last year's original Mi Mix was a substantial departure from the company's previous phones, and its edge-to-edge screen (minus the bottom bar) made headlines worldwide. Here  we are a year later, and bezel-less phones are a bit more common now, with the iPhone X gaining the most attention.

Xiaomi just released the Mi Mix 2, with roughly the same design as last year's model, and it's a pretty great device (Jordan is in the process of reviewing it). But it looks like another variation could be in the works, one that looks far more like an iPhone X.

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Samsung's latest ad makes direct jabs at multiple generations of the iPhone, and it's pretty funny

Samsung seems to be angling towards a different type of ad campaign: one that makes fun of competitors' devices. We first saw this (indirectly) with Samsung's 'Screen Reviews' commercial, but this latest 'Growing Up' takes the roasts to a whole other level. Several generations of the iPhone are highlighted here, and it's really very well done.

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[Notch-our Average Look] These two apps give your Android phone the $999 iPhone X blackout for free

Ever since the Essential phone and                                                             X were announced, do you find yourself staring longingly at your fully rectangular display (rounded corners don't count) and wish, just hope, that part of it would disappear and you'd get a black notch up top? Something to hide that ugly middle of the notification bar, something to make you feel as if only 3 or 4 icons on each side of it mattered, and anything else can go to hell?

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