Written byBhavika Bhuwalka ·
The beta version of Android P was made available to the public at the ongoing Google I/O 2018 developers conference in California.
It's compatible with 11 different smartphones including Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, Essential PH‑1, and Pixel phones.
Android P is full of visual changes and new features.
Android P features a new dashboard that tells you for how many minutes you've used your phone, how many notifications you've received, and for how long you've used each app.
You can also set limits on app usage. If you set a half-hour limit on Instagram, the app will pause after your 30 minutes of usage is up and its icon will turn grayscale.
Another feature in Android P is "Wind down." Specify your bedtime to your phone and when it arrives, the device will automatically go into DND mode, becoming entirely grayscale (you can still use it).
On turning DND mode on, notifications will fully disappear and won't show on the lock screen or always-on display. Only the contacts you've white-listed will be able to reach you.
To keep you from mindlessly using your phone, Android P will prompt you to disable notifications you usually swipe away.
You can already configure work apps separately from regular apps. Android P is taking that functionality a notch up and allowing users to collectively disable them with a toggle switch.
You can also now long-press a notification to get to that app's notification settings.
It remains to be seen how developers will react to this huge update that is meant to restrict app usage. Google claims that its developer partners are on-board with the changes and want users to have "meaningful engagement" with their services.
Android P supports iPhone-like gesture navigation control.
There is now a pill-shaped Home button, the back button only shows up in apps, and no Recent Apps button at all.
You'll now half swipe up to go to an overview of open apps and full swipe up to go to the app tray. These gesture controls work even if you're not on the home screen.
Android P features a new AI functionality called Actions. They are deep links to apps that can be accessed from anywhere on the phone.
Actions predicts things you might want to do, say text a friend or re-order food, and puts direct links for those tasks in front of you.
Actions can surface anywhere: the launcher, Google Assistant, home screen, and even Play Store.
Visit g.co/androidbeta. Select your compatible smartphone model and click on "Enroll device" next to it. Agree to T&Cs and tap on "Join Beta." Click OK to confirm.
The OTA update notification will arrive on your smartphone within 24 hours. When it arrives, tap on "Download." Tap on "Restart" and a preview version of Android P will begin installing on your phone.
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