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Google releases first Android P preview
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-03-11 22:07:02

Google has released the first preview for Android P - again, apologies for the late coverage - and it contains some interesting improvements. Here's a few things that jumped out at me:

To better ensure privacy, Android P restricts access to mic, camera, and all SensorManager sensors from apps that are idle. While your app's UID is idle, the mic reports empty audio and sensors stop reporting events. Cameras used by your app are disconnected and will generate an error if the app tries to use them. In most cases, these restrictions should not introduce new issues for existing apps, but we recommend removing these requests from your apps.

This is a very good move, and I doubt anyone will have any objections.

In line with these changes, Android P will warn users with a dialog when they install an app that targets a platform earlier than Android 4.2 (targetSdkVersion less than 17), and future platform versions will continue to increment that lower bound.

Expect scary warning dialogs when installing older applications. This should encourage developers to update their applications as users complain in the review sections of the Play Store. Hopefully.

You can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras on devices running Android P. On devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras, you can create innovative features not possible with just a single camera, such as seamless zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision. The API also lets you call a logical or fused camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras.

Definitely neat.

There's a lot more stuff in this preview release, and more features will certainly follow over the coming months.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20
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Mic and backround apps
By MrWeeble on 2018-03-11 22:47:15
Android P restricts access to mic ... from apps that are idle

Does this mean that google will have special privilege to respond to "OK Google" no matter what is in the foreground, but users will have to explicitly open any apps from competitors (Alexa, Cortana, Siri) should they try to be on Android?
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE: Mic and backround apps
By sukru on 2018-03-11 23:13:57
I'm not sure how it works, however there seems to be an API for "hotword" detection:

https://developer.android.com/ref...

It looks like you'll need to register the hotword, and let the system notify you when it is detected.
Permalink - Score: 3
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OS Updates
By MrEcho on 2018-03-12 02:06:57
So O 8.* only has 1.1% usage after 6 months. And you can still buy phones with 7.*, I find that pretty sad.
So maybe in 2-3 years they will start to sell P 9.* ?
Its starting to look like if you want up-to-date phones, you will need to get the Pixel.
Ad as for the API versions, they should bump it up to 20, way to many people still on 19 and below.
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE: OS Updates
By moondevil on 2018-03-12 08:08:44
Actually in Germany you can still get lower than that, with the cheapest supermarket handsets being Android 5.1.

And no, Treble won't fix any of that, because OEMs are the ones expected to deliver updates, if ever.
Permalink - Score: 2
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Non-issue
By wocowboy on 2018-03-12 10:26:19
It's too bad that nobody will see Android P on an actual general-availability, for-sale device for a year or so. Having to unlock or hack your phone, or sign up for a beta program to enjoy the latest OS with its security and function features of your phone is just sad.
Permalink - Score: 0
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RE: OS Updates
By wocowboy on 2018-03-12 10:29:32
And yet Google only sold 3-4 million Pixel phones in the past year. This tells me that Android users really don't give a flip about security and identity protection or OS software updates for their phones at all since they keep buying phones from these manufacturers and carriers that don't allow the phones they sell to be updated, or, as is the case with the brand freakin' new Samsung Galaxy S9 models, shipping them with a 6-month old, outdated version of Android!
Permalink - Score: 0
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Text selection magnifaction, finally!
By Parry on 2018-03-12 11:00:27
This may seem a moot feature to many but I'm so pleased Google has finally added magnification to text select (coping iOS). Selecting text in Android is infuriating as you jab your finger and hope for the best. Some Sony and HTC(?) phones come bundled with a similar feature but it's nice to finally have it integrated in to the OS.

Edited 2018-03-12 11:00 UTC
Permalink - Score: 4
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Nagging dialogs
By missingxtension on 2018-03-12 11:45:45
Congratulations Google, Android is now Nagging just worse than windows. It nags about defaults apps, everytime you use one that's not set. Hell some apps will no longer work until you set them back to default. It nags about installing apks, about permissions, it nags about updates. It just nags about everything. Then the apps themselves nag about updates as well. We are to the point where apps have built in tuto for setting permissions. Or kinda like wizzarfs......
Permalink - Score: -1
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RE[2]: OS Updates
By moondevil on 2018-03-12 13:04:20
Many people would buy PIxels if:

1 - They were actually available on their country;

2 - Had replaceable battery and SD card support;

3 - Were not bloody expensive

So if one can afford Pixel prices, on the few countries it is available, then they usually go with the iPhone instead.
Permalink - Score: 6
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RE[2]: OS Updates
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2018-03-12 15:38:43
Wait, Samsung galaxy s9, will ship with oreo, the latest release of Andriod. P, doesn't even have a name, won't ship until the fall.

That will be the real test of Treble: how long does it take samsung to upgrade the S9 to P ? Will it be faster than the S8 upgrade to Oreo?

I'm keeping an open mind, but would bet against Treble making a difference.
Permalink - Score: 3

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