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Android P feature spotlight: Battery Saver no longer turns the navigation and status bars orange

We've got some big news: Battery Saver mode no longer forces you to stare at those giant orange bars on the top and bottom of your screen. These orange bars were first introduced about 3.5 years ago in Android 5.0 Lollipop, likely to let people know that the Battery Saver was on, but Google has decided to remove them for some reason. At least your screen won't hurt your eyes when you're trying to save some battery anymore, right?

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[Update: Only on Pixel 2] Android P feature spotlight: Screenshot editing is now native with 'Markup'

Google recently started rolling out a screenshot editing popup for the Google app beta that also made its way to other apps for some. But it looks like that won't be necessary for devices running Android P, as a native screenshot editing tool, dubbed 'Markup,' has been implemented. It's not bad.

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Android P feature spotlight: The power menu now has a screenshot button

The power menu now has a new button: the appropriately-named 'Screenshot.' Custom ROMs have had an option for it for years, and Google has finally added it to its own builds. The old power + volume button combo still works, but this might come in handy when the buttons are inconvenient to press for whatever reason.

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Android P feature spotlight: The Easter egg is animated and way too colorful

Easter eggs are always fun to check out on newly-named Android builds, and this one is no different. However, this may be the first one that actually might be a little hard to look at for long periods of time. Android P's first Easter egg features a P with a very colorful animation.

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Android P feature spotlight: The volume slider moves to the side of the screen, and there's superior control for Bluetooth devices

The volume slider wasn't really something that people had been complaining about in previous versions of Android, but Google has gone and changed it anyway. The slider is now vertical, moving to the side of the screen. It's technically more intuitive, but it'll probably take some time to get used to. There are also several new features.

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Android P feature spotlight: Google improves neural network API for machine learning and AI developers

Last year, Google introduced a new neural networks API in Android 8.1 Oreo that provided developers with hardware-backed tools for machine learning. Now, with Android P, Google is expanding the API to support nine new operations. Pixel 2 devices will also have support for Qualcomm's Hexagon HVX driver, giving developers further improvements in performance on those devices. 

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Android P feature spotlight: Settings receives a splash of color and a rounded search bar

Were Android Oreo's settings just too boring for you? Did they look too black-and-white? Good news - Android P's settings menu has a lot of color, as well as a revised quick search bar. If anyone else is getting reminded of TouchWiz (back when it was still called TouchWiz) and ZenUI, you're not alone.

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Android P feature spotlight: Kotlin apps get a performance boost

Historically, Java has been the only officially-supported language for Android development. That changed last year, when Kotlin support was announced at Google I/O. Even though Kotlin still uses the Java Virtual Machine and can interact with Java code, there are some key changes that make some tasks significantly easier.

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Android P feature spotlight: ART improvements could allow apps to start faster and use less system memory

Android P will bring new improvements to ART – the Android Runtime – that sound kind of exciting. These performance and efficiency boosts are supposedly correlated with decreased app startup time and DEX memory usage. From the sounds of it, though, it seems like the difference will be marginal and noticeable only in certain cases.

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Android P Developer Preview timeline: 5 releases, final version scheduled for Q3

Just earlier this hour, Google released the details and images for the new Android P developer preview, and now we know what sort of schedule to expect for future releases—assuming Google sticks to it. The current plans are to push the 2nd Developer Preview in May. Two more are planned for June with a final image expected to land in July before the ultimate Q3 release. 

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