With Developer Preview 4, Android P is getting closer to its consumer release later this year. As a “release candidate for testing,” many features are getting tweaked with Google noting that Beta 3 is “very close to what you’ll see in the final version of Android P.” Be sure to follow our updating (reverse chronological) list of all the new features.
As we dive into Android P DP4 over the coming hours and days, we’ll post the new features and tweaks we find below. (The newest updates will be at top of the list.)
If you want to install the Android P developer preview on your compatible Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, or Pixel 2 XL, be sure to check out our step-by-step guide.
Only 4 Direct Share contacts
Android’s system share menu is historically laggy, even on flagship devices. As a possible change aimed at addressing this issue, DP4 reduces the number of Direct Share contacts by half.
For more, read our full post.
Android P System UI icon
Call volume slider in Sound settings
Tapping time in Quick Settings opens Clock app
When the Quick Settings panel is pulled down — either notifications or the full panel, you can now (via Comments) tap on the time at the top-left corner to open the Clock app to the Alarms tab.
Keyboard icon in place of Recents
The keyboard switcher — when multiple apps are installed — is no longer at the very right of the navigation bar. Instead, like Auto-rotate, the icon is now located (via Twitter) in the Recents position when gestural navigation is enabled.
Outlined Battery Saver icon
To note that the Battery Saver is enabled, Android currently turns the status and navigation bars bright orange. With Android P, Google opted for a more subtle orange + sign in the status bar’s battery icon. To further emphasize that the mode is enabled, there is now (via Twitter) an orange outline around the icon in DP4.
New gesture navigation slider
One advantage of the new gesture navigation is the ability to quickly scroll through and access a recent app by swiping right on the home button. Prior to DP4, the UI for this was a slider that took up only one half of the screen. This slider has been redesigned in the latest update to span the full width of the display.
Be sure to read our hands-on post.
New rotate icon in place of Recents
Android P introduces a new Auto-rotate control that makes the process easier. Previously located in the far-right corner, it now takes the place of the previous Recents button when gesture navigation is enabled.
Device theme in Display
With Android 8.1, elements of the OS like Quick Settings, notifications, and the Pixel Launcher adopted a Light or Dark theme based on the set wallpaper. As promised last month, DP4 allows users to manually switch the theme. It’s accessible under the Display menu with an Automatic option retaining the previous wallpaper-based behavior.
New Google Material Theme icons
DP4 updates several icons across Android P to match the Google Material Theme style of thin, bold outlines. Changes are present in quick settings and the status bar.
Visit our dedicated post for the full gallery of icon changes.
New back button
The back button is now a chevron instead of a triangle.