Google is rolling out the final preview version of Android P today ahead of its public release sometime next month. Android VP Dave Burke notes that this beta 4 (developer preview 5) build includes “final system behaviors.” So Google’s new gesture-based navigation for Android P should be locked in and finalized as of this release. There’s always the potential for more improvements and changes in future updates, of course, but whatever’s here is what will ship in Android 9.0.
Like the previous beta, this one should, theoretically, be stable enough to install and test out on your main phone; Google doesn’t mention any major known issues or bugs in beta 4. If there are any significant changes, I’ll update this post to include them. As just one, Google has removed the microphone icon from the search bar at the bottom of the Android P home screen.
Android P contains a number of visual and functional changes across the operating system. Multitasking now shows a preview of each app’s entire window. The quick shortcuts pulldown and settings menu also got a makeover. You can easily edit and annotate screenshots. Oh, and rounded corners are everywhere. If you really want to nerd out, Android Police put together a massive list of every change in Android P.
However, you won’t get Google’s digital wellness features — like app timers or the dashboard that breaks down your smartphone usage — as part of the beta of Android P, nor will they be in the public release. The company has said that those features will come to Android “this fall,” which likely means they’ll debut on the Pixel 3 and Android 9.1.
And no, we still don’t know Android P’s final name.