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Android P to care a lot about the notch and Google Assistant

by Justin Herrick | February 12, 2018February 12, 2018 9:00 am EST

Nothing is official yet, but there’s a new report out saying what direction Android will go in this year with its next major update. Google will reportedly focus on unique designs and its digital assistant more than anything else for Android P, according to Bloomberg.

The report lays out the areas Google wants to improve for its mobile operating system in 2018. Apple’s iPhone X shipped with a notch at the top of its display, and its rival appears to be interested in making Android better support that type of design. The Essential Phone was the first notable Android device to have a notch, but Essential implemented its own workaround for Android to play nice. With Android P, Google would like the platform to be flexible and adapt as needed.

Phones with multiple displays and foldable displays are also going to receive attention. Android P will support new form factors in that regard as well.

Other improvements will be rolled out for Google Assistant and battery life. The company’s goal is “to persuade more iPhone users to switch to Android devices by improving the look of the software.” Problems still exist, though, for Google to get the latest version of Android onto the majority of devices in a timely manner.

In 2017, Android 8.0 Oreo debuted after extensive testing. But six months later it’s still on a meager 22 million devices while there are over 2 billion Android devices in the world today. For the company to have any of Apple’s loyal customers switch, it needs to solve fragmentation.

The upgrade for Google Assistant will apparently allow developers to integrate the technology into their own apps.

Google should be making a surprise announcement regarding Android P in the coming weeks. The last two years we saw Android N and Android O debut in March, and then the company used its annual developer conference to heavily detail new features and capabilities. Expect the same for Android P. After announcing a developer preview, the new version of Android should be showcased in full at I/O 2018.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...