What are your thoughts on the first Android P Developer Preview?

Android P Developer Preview 1 was released on Wednesday for the Pixel 2 and Pixel devices. It’s fair to say this newest version of the operating system brings major changes over its predecessor, Android Oreo.

We compiled a comprehensive list of all the new features in Android P Developer Preview 1, and have also explained the procedure to install it on the Pixel family of devices. Android P comes with many changes, such as improvements to notifications, the Autofill Framework, ART, more video and image codecs, a multi-camera API, and new privacy restrictions.

However, Android P has received a mixed reception in the short time the developer preview has been available (the final version of the operating system will be released in Q3). Android P brings support for the controversial display cutouts (or notches) that are starting to become popular in Android smartphones. It also brings UI changes to the notifications menu, quick settings, and the Settings app. These changes are proving to be controversial as some users think that they are proving to be a regression from Android Oreo.

In another controversial move, Android P has broken support for rootless Substratum. Third-party overlays cannot be installed anymore, which means that Andromeda will not work. The implications of this are that users will no longer be able to install a dark theme, for example, or install custom themes without root.

The new UI changes are not without precedent. Google made the first steps towards a brighter UI with more use of white in Android Oreo. With Android P, we have almost arrived at a complete opposite to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich’s Holo UI. (which is a good or bad thing depending on your viewpoint). The support for display cutouts is also controversial because alternatives to it do exist. Google has its reasons for supporting notches, but there are reasons against supporting it too.

The whole argument of pros and cons summarizes Android P in a nutshell. Its feature improvements are welcome, and it is possible that the UI will be polished ahead of the final release. On the other hand, it can be argued that Google has gone too far with restrictions on third-party overlays. What are your thoughts regarding Android P and its new features? Do you like the new UI changes, or do you prefer Android Oreo’s UI? Let us know in the comments below!

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