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Android P's Accessibility Menu replaces gestures and hardware buttons

At I/O, Google announced a set of new accessibility features for Android P, one of which was a new Accessibility Menu for motor-impaired users. It makes it easier to perform nine actions that would otherwise require precise gestures or hardware button presses. We looked for the menu in Android P DP2, which rolled out at I/O, but didn't find it then. Now, it's there, but it turns out it was likely implemented in DP3, but we didn't spot it until DP4 showed up yesterday.

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Android P DP4 trims down the Direct Share targets to 4 instead of 8

It's no secret that we're not the biggest fans of Android's Share menu. A couple of months ago, I wrote an exposé detailing everything that's wrong with it, including its slowness, inconsistency, and the mess that is Direct Share. With Android P Developer Preview 4, which was released yesterday, Google decided to do one thing about it, but it's not what you think: Direct Share targets have been reduced to four.

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Android P DP4 gesture app switcher now has full-width slider and larger previews

One of the most divisive (read: generally disliked) features in Android P is the new gesture navigation system, which brings all the convenience of unintuitive, non-descriptive interface elements together with precisely none of the visual space-savings you'd expect to gain from gestures. The latest Android DP4/Beta 3 tweaks the pill-based app switcher a bit, stretching the track for the slider to fill the full width of your screen and expanding app previews to be a lot bigger.

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Manual toggle for dark and light launcher themes debuts in Android P DP4

Google introduced the dark launcher theme on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, eventually expanding it to the first gen Pixels with the Android 8.1 update. However, there was no way to change the theme manually—it was always based on the wallpaper. Google recently promised a toggle, and now it's here in the latest Android P preview.

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Android P DP4 revises gesture navigation button design

Android P DP4 just debuted earlier today, and even on the fourth developer preview, Google is still adding new changes. We'd thought that the only new things we'd be seeing by now were stability and bug fixes, but apparently not. The gesture navigation introduced back in May has received a new back button in DP4.

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Android P can turn off Wi-Fi hotspot automatically if no devices are connected

Android P will come packing so many new features that it’s hard to keep up with what’s changed. One helpful function that slipped under our radar is the ability to have your Wi-Fi hotspot turned off automatically when no devices are connected.

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Here are some more minor Android P DP3 changes you may have missed

Since Android P's inception, we've written over 100 feature spotlight posts about various new changes Google has added in. Even in its third developer preview, lots of changes are still being added, but some are so minor they don't really warrant their own posts. However, if you like nitpicking every little thing like many of us, this might be the post for you.

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Android P DP3 simplifies Do Not Disturb settings, includes notification/popup to warn you of changes

Do Not Disturb mode is an increasingly vital part of the Android OS as far as I'm concerned. Advanced "digital wellbeing" features are all well and good, but the simplicity of being able to tell my phone to shut up for a little while is something I'm using more and more. It seems that every new version of Android alters how DND works — sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. Google has made significant changes to DND in each Developer Preview of Android P, and the latest beta makes further alterations and includes a new notification to warn you of certain differences.

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Android P DP3 brings the home screen rotation toggle back

When Android P DP2 debuted, we posted about a new rotation icon that showed up when the phone is rotated with auto-rotate off, but neglected to mention that the 'Allow Home screen rotation' toggle in the Pixel Launcher had disappeared. If you were confused by that, you'll be pleased to know that DP3 has brought that toggle back.

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Android P DP3 slightly changes the position of the date in the notification panel

Android P's third developer preview landed yesterday, and we're still finding new changes. This one's pretty minor, but since we all love nitpicking over tiny details that the average consumer will never notice, here it is: the date has been moved from the right of the clock to below the clock. Huge news, we know.

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