The availability of an early release of the next Android platform enabled some details of Google’s future direction to be discerned, including in the mobile devices space.
Apple Insider reported the next Android version, Android P, will drop support for Pixel C, Google’s last own-brand tablet. With no suggestion the company will introduce a new Android tablet, this would mark the end of the line for its work in this segment, which saw it collaborate with partners including Asus and HTC.
The news outlet also said the platform will not support Google’s earlier in-house smartphones, which carried the Nexus badge. The release will only work with the two generations of Pixel devices from the company.
It was also suggested that, in much the same way Android Pay was rebranded as Google Pay, Android Wear will become Wear OS. This, Engadget mooted, may be driven by a desire to avoid using the Android label on a platform designed to support other operating systems – Android Wear watches work with iPhones, for example.
New features being touted include improved indoor positioning using Wi-Fi Round Trip Time (RTT) technology; support for devices with “notch” displays; improved notifications; a multi-camera API to enable several cameras to be used at the same time; and improved HDR content support. The platform also sees security updates.
At the moment, the Android P preview is still “an early baseline build for developers”, meaning there may be significant changes before its release.