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Android P will reportedly have a new look and embrace the notch


Google still has some serious work to do to get its most recent Android version to users — only 1.1 percent of Android users are using Oreo — but the company is already hard at work on Android P, which were starting to hear the first rumors about in a new report from Bloomberg. One of the main goals of Android P is reportedly improving the look of the software to better appeal to existing iPhone users in hopes that theyll make the switch over to Googles platform. A flashy redesign could help Android phones stand out this year, especially as Apple is said to be putting its own major redesign on the back burner until next year to focus on performance and reliability in iOS 12. Google is also said to be designing the updated operating system to better integrate camera notches, such as the ones found on the Essential Phone and iPhone X, as more and more hardware manufacturers embrace reduced-bezel designs. Also rumored to be part of Android P is better support for different form factors of Android devices, with features like multiple screens ( like the ZTE Axon M) and foldable displays ( which Samsung is rumored to be working on for later this year). Of course, Google is also said to be planning to further embed Assistant into Android: the company is reportedly considering allowing third-party developers to directly integrate Assistant into their own apps. Assistant might also be added to the omnipresent Google search bar on the home screen, although neither of these decisions is apparently finalized yet. If past history is anything to go by, Google will likely announced Android P with a developer preview sometime in March, with a more formal unveiling at Google I/O in May before launching the final software to users in the fall. Unfortunately, given the historically fragmented nature of Android development, its unlikely that most Android devices (unless they have the phrase Google Pixel in their name) on the market today will actually get Android P updates.

Android P might support 'notched' displays


The Essential Phone was just the beginning. It sounds like Google is taking inspiration from the iPhone X display's notch for the next version of Android. The idea is for Android Pistachio Ice Cream (the software version's internal name, according to Bloomberg) is to win potential iPhone customers over by offering a similar look to its OS. While some like Samsung have outright mocked the cut-out, other manufacturers like Essential (above) have embraced it. This move makes it sound like Google expects more of the latter than the former, which means you can likely expect to find more phones with all manner of sensors tucked into the space in the future. Chinese OEM Huawei is rumored to join the notched-display party as well. What else can we expect from Android P? More Google Assistant in more places -- potentially in the the home screen search bar -- along with better battery life and apparently even support for foldable displays and multiple screens. Bloomberg's sources are mum on any other details, but we're closer to Google's annual I/O conference, typically held each May, than we are away from it so more details (and rumors) likely aren't far off. We've reached out to Google for more information and will update this post should it arrive.