Google’s approach to Android P and Project Treble has been explained
Intelligence, simplicity and digital wellbeing were the three big themes for all Android P announcements made at Google I / O 2018. Google has not only deepened its resolve to remove the three legacy navigation buttons due to user frustration, it has also gained the company’s project treble. Before the Pixel 3 launch, Nokia, Sony, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Essentials were brought into the Android P public beta.
On the sidelines of I / O 2018, we spoke with Google’s VP Engineering (Android) Dave Burke to delve deeper into the company’s vision for Android P, a software update that changes the way users interact with their Android smartphones.
As was clear from this year’s Google I / O announcements, artificial intelligence will not only play a leading role in Google’s devices, but also in its software. According to Burke, the new operating system is an important first step towards the vision of AI on the main operating platform of Android phones. The intelligence of Android P comes from features like machine learning on the device to predict user activity while maintaining user privacy. Features like Smart Reply – which predicts user replies between notifications and app actions – predict which user will take the next step in an app, both examples of how Google plans to use its AI chops on Android P without personal user data. Never leave the device.
“The theme here is that the device fits you.”
“In Pixel, we’ve been integrating predictive apps for quite some time now. It predicts you’re going to launch the next app, and it fixes 60 percent of the time. That was last year. This year, we wanted to go further and, in fact, suggested action. Call your wife, navigate home, open documents, really the idea here is to get the operating system to you. It only accelerates how you use the device. The theme here is that the device fits you, “Burke explained.
Another example of how Android P will add simple machine learning tasks to smartphones is Google’s new ‘slice’ feature. The company is now offering developers a new API to define interactive snippets of their app’s UI. In terms of search, Android P users will see slices of apps in the search interface, allowing them to quickly interact with apps to complete the desired tasks. It takes the theme of simplicity of Android P aimed at fading the technology behind the UI and making Android usage more normal and smooth.
“Android started out as a powerful OS, probably very powerful. We’re trying to make Android easier to use and more accessible so that anyone who has never used Android before will be able to pick up a device and learn how to use it, “said Burke.
“We’ve had gestures since 10 years ago. That’s something we’ve been doing before them (Apple).”
One of the big changes that Google is bringing to Android this year Quick move, Which brings with it the name of the new gesture-based UI Android P. Quick steps combine all apps and overviews. Burke tells us that while Google was careful to keep the soft home button, it removed the other two navigation buttons to make way for more screen real estate and easier use. According to the company, Android’s new swipe is a more powerful way to communicate with the phone and Apple’s iPhone X navigation strategies have not been decided.
“Since Android 1.0, we’ve introduced gestures to bring notifications. So we’ve had gestures since 10 years ago. Two years ago, we changed the UI version of Google for all apps. So in the first pixel, you had a gesture to swipe and so we extended the gesture all the time. The big change is to integrate all the apps and overview space. All previous versions of Android had three buttons, I always thought of it as three doors. The problem with Overview was that you have to go to this other place and then you have to back up to come home. We wanted to change this relationship. This is something that we (Apple) have been working on before. It’s amazing that they’ve just moved on to the on-screen button. We’ve found that a lot of people don’t really understand the three buttons and don’t use multitasking. What we’ve learned is that people are more likely to use the new UI multitask, “said Burke, explaining the thinking behind the new gestures of Android P.
“Project Treble will only work because we’ve got a formal interface and a lot of testing and agreements have been implemented.”
In addition to a simpler, more intuitive UI, Android P also comes with a promise for quick updates that Google first introduced last year in the form of Project Treble support for all Android O devices. Project Treble was launched to reduce fragmentation within the Android framework, making it easier, faster and less costly for developers to roll out updates. Although we’ve seen a number of devices support Project Treble over the last year, this is the first time Google has offered an Android public beta on smartphones from other OEMs. Not only did Google choose these 7 OEMs because of their huge popularity and user base, Burke explained why we didn’t see results from Project Treble last year.
“The thing about Project Trouble is that it takes time, but it goes exactly as we expected. At Oreo, we’ve spent all of our efforts to create this highly formal hardware interface, and that means every single team – like the Media Framework team, the graphics team, the location, the sensors – was affected. All of them had to create this formal boundary. That means you’re never going to see an advantage last year because, in some ways, it works for everyone. You will now begin to see the benefits. Advantages like- We have 6 devices in Android P Beta. Last year, we had a. Device makers who have made phones in Orio can take the P version of Android and put it on top and it will only work because we’ve got a formal interface and lots of testing and contract enforcement. Now, silicone vendors are actually working with us. So Samsung Semiconductor, Qualcomm and MediaTek are working on the same code base. They are using the same tools so when we have a release candidate like P, they will have their trade code ready for the device manufacturers. So it speeds up everything. “
So Android P not only promises a faster, easier and more intelligent operating system, but also now we see that more OEM users benefit from faster Android updates for more streamlined and organized project travel. However, Google still thinks that users will be able to realize the real benefits of Travel 2-3 years from now.
To read more about all the new features that come with Android P, go here.