It’s already March, which means we’re getting even closer to an event many Android fans are anxiously awaiting: the official arrival of Android P, at least in the form of a developer preview. While Google is yet to announce anything, we already have a few exciting Android P rumors out there.
Last year, Google made the Android O developer preview available on March 21st. Meanwhile, the first early N release arrived on March 9th, 2016. So it could be safe to assume that Android P, in its very early form, is almost upon us.
While we wait, we have a few interesting Android P developments for you, and they concern new features as well as OEMs’ involvement.
Iris scanner support is apparently in the works for Android P, Android Police explains. Several commits that add iris identification as a biometric security method were submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Before you get too excited, these did not come from Android engineers. Instead, they’re from software engineers working for Fingerprint Cards.
However, an earlier rumor did say that Google is considering adding notch support to Android P, seeing that the new iPhone X design and its notch functionality are getting plenty of traction. But until Google actually confirms that Android P will have native iris unlock support, you shouldn’t get too excited. This isn’t even really an indication that the Pixel 3 will do iris unlock, at least not yet.
A different piece of interesting Android P news comes from Reddit, where a user noticed that a Huawei employee submitted an Android P bug to the official Google Issue tracker. This happened all the way back in late January, which means Huawei has been working on Android P for a few months now.
Why is this exciting? Well, Google does provide OEMs early access to new Android versions, which should, in theory, help them speed up Android updates, especially now that Treble is implemented in Oreo. Google confirmed that the issue was passed to the development team and marked it as fixed a few days ago. That doesn’t mean Huawei will take part in the upcoming Android P developer preview, which is reserved to Nexus and Pixel devices, or in the public beta release that will follow in the coming months. Nor does it mean that Huawei is involved in the making of any future Pixel model. Google is hopefully going to create the Pixel 3 all by itself, now that it acquired a huge chunk of HTC’s engineering team.
But wait, there’s even more. xda-developers discovered an enhanced call-blocking feature that will allow users to block calls from unknown, private, and pay phone numbers. The new commits discovered in AOSP come from a Sony engineer, and xda says that Sony engineers have recently been behind “a ton of carrier-related changes in Android.” The feature is definitely welcomed and should definitely be appreciated by users who are annoyed with calls from unknown or private numbers… which is pretty much all of us.
Finally, Google announced on Wednesday that it’ll block unofficial Android APIs in Android P. What that means is that Android APIs that work unofficially in Android SDK will not be available for app development. The move is meant to prevent abnormal app behavior that could be caused by the use of an unofficial API — Google’s full announcement is available at this link.