New developments on Android OpenSource Project show Google has started working on Android P (Android 9.0) operating system, including when it is coming.
Despite the fact, the latest major Android 8.0 Oreo is rolling out onto 1% of all Android devices, but again, we are getting some details on the next big Android update, the Android 9.0 P, having the internal codename ‘Pistachio Ice Cream‘. Before we walk forward on speaking about it, we have to clarify something.
When Apple’s iPhone X was officially announced, we know that it would indeed have that now infamous notch design at the top of the screen. In place, where the Face ID magic lives on an iPhone X, and we also saw similar designs from other hardware manufacturers recently, all with varying degrees of success.
And of course, those devices run Android, with hardware makers having to work the notch into their software ad-hoc. Now, we are receiving reports from sources, Google is getting ready to bring native notch support to Android P later this year.
One of the sources citing that a visual overhaul of the OS to make the Android software more appealing. Reportedly, Google is aiming to draw the attention of iOS users with the move, hoping to make them switch over to Android. As expected, Android 9.0 P is expected to bring support for notch-sporting cellphones a la iPhone X.
According to the report, Google is making it possible for Android phone makers usher in a “new generation” of devices that will borrow heavily from the iPhone X’s notch design. Likely that this will be put in place to make it easier for manufacturers to create Android phones that can mimic, to some extent, the sensor array that makes Face ID possible on the iPhone X.
Currently, there’s only one Android device with such feature – the Essential Phone. It has small yet a noticeable cutout in the upper section of its screen to fit a front-facing camera. Rumors have it that Huawei is also in making a device with a notch similar to the one on the iPhone X. While other phones already have facial recognition, the number of sensors used by Apple’s iPhone X in order to make Face ID so well requires more space than existing implementation, hence the need for a notch.
Display specifications aside, Android 9.0 P is also expected to gain support for new device designs, which may also include devices with multiple and flexible displays, such as the ZTE Axon M and the rumored Samsung Galaxy foldable smartphone. Battery life improvements are coming as well, according to the report.
Overall, though, it is believed that Google’s aim with Android P – expected to be called Pistachio Ice Cream – is to make Android more attractive to iPhone switchers. Also, Google is seeking out ways to make the Google Assistant play a bigger part in the Android experience, and the next step would be to allow developers to include it into their apps.
While Android dominates the middle and low-end of the global smartphone market, Apple controls much of the high-end with users who spend more on apps and other services. Embracing the notch may help change that. The design will mean more new Android phones with cutouts at the top of their screens to fit cameras and other sensors. That will likely support new features, helping Android device makers keep up with similar Apple technology.
For any comparisons, Apple has already allowed developers to integrate Siri into their apps using Sirikit, released alongside iOS 10 – 11.