Android P hands-on: Google’s most ambitious update


(electronic music) – Google I/O is here and that means we finally know what'shappening with Android P.

Company's focusing on three things: A simpler interface, anintelligent interface, and this thing they'recalling “digital well being”.

What's that all about? (electronic music) So, the new Android Pbeta should be available pretty much right away ona whole bunch of devices, like seven or nine devices.

It's on the Google Pixel2 XL, which I have here.

You can also get it on a OnePlus 6, Nokia phones, et cetera, et cetera.

Anyway, I wanna show youthe most obvious thing you're gonna see on this beta of Android P because, oh my god, theytook the home button away.

So, what you do is yougive it a little swipe up and that takes you to the overview screen.

All of your apps arelisted horizontally here.

They're even live, so you can, like, long press on something and have it do a search for that thing, or copy the text or whatever, which is kind of cool.

If you give it a longer swipeup, or a second swipe up, it takes you to all of your apps.

And it lists yourmost-used apps or, sorry, the AI-detected apps, what they think you're gonna wanna use, right there at the top.

And that's also in thishalf swipe up down here at the bottom, which is pretty neat.

There's a little tab, also, for your work apps.

So if you really want to, you can just turn those damn things off, because who wants work apps? One last little cleverthing with that button, if you just slide it over to the right, you can get to that listof your most recent apps to jump into them.

So it's a really quick wayto switch between apps.

And then, of course, when you're in an app, the home button is there.

To go home, you canjust tap it to go home.

And, the good old backbutton is there, too, if you want the back button.

Notifications: thingsare basically the same, but there are some really nice updates.

So, if you start dismissing stuff a bunch, eventually it'll ask you if you just wanna stop seeing those notifications.

You can long press on a notification instead of remembering that weird little swipe over to get to settings.

And then there's just a plain old “manage notifications”button at the bottom.

When you tap on that, it takes you to a list of your most recent notifications and then you can justturn those things off because they've been annoying you lately.

So it's a much faster wayto handle notifications.

Now, this is just some ofthe stuff on Android P.

There's a lot more.

There's all the stuffabout digital well being, there's a bunch of AI stuff.

And so I want to talkabout that stuff now.

(chill electronic music) Now, because this isGoogle and because Google can't string more than five words together without saying the words “AI”, we're talking about AI again.

AI is built into Androidin a few different ways.

There's a new machine-learning kit so that you can make yourown intelligent apps, and that works on bothAndroid and iOS, actually.

But, in Android itself, AI is gonna watch what apps you use and thenshut them down intelligently to save battery life.

It's also gonna adjust your brightness automatically for you.

I don't know, saying thatthat's AI feels a little bit buzz-wordy and a little bit overkill, but it should, hopefully, give you better battery life in the end.

What are some of the thingsthat are more intelligent that's happening on the phone now? – Right, and so, there'sthe whole premise of this is, you know, we think smart, we call them smart phones, but, you know what, theycould be a lot smarter.

– Okay.

(laughs)- And they could be a lot more intelligent and, you know, what does that mean? Well, in our case, it's really we think the phone should adapt to you.

One area that we've workedon which I like a lot is what we call “adaptive battery”.

It's a project we did with DeepMind.

It uses on-device machine learning to figure out which appsyou're gonna launch next and which ones you're not gonnalaunch for a couple hours, and which you may not do'til the evening, if at all.

That's one example.

Another is auto brightness.

Now, in pretty much everymodern smart phone today, we'll look at, it has a light sensor and it will adjust the brightnessdepending on the light.

But it doesn't take into accountyou're preferences, right? Or your environment.

And so what we've done, it'll actually learn how you move thebrightness, given different lighting conditions andthen it will do it for you.

– So, one of the things thatGoogle's doing in Android P is they're introducing these new terms.

There's a “slice” and there's an “action”.

And they're basicallydeep links, which means that an app has gotsomething you want to do deep down inside theapp, but you wanna do it somewhere else in the operating system.

So if you do a search for Lyft, it just surfaces a link to just go home and it jumps right intothe app to do that.

Or, if you want, if you areopening up your app drawer, there's a couple littlethings inside the app row at the top that lets youjump right into some action you do all the time.

Like, you know, callyour significant other or open up Seamless when you get home because, let's be honest, you're gonna open upSeamless when you get home.

You're lazy as hell.

Those are all the whizbang features that are gonna make you moreproductive with your phone and use your phone moreand they're all great.

But, Google's doing this whole other thing that's designed to get youto use your phone less.

– Digital well being, for us, is a theme, is a set of capabilitieswe're putting into Android to help people become more aware of how they're using their device.

And then be in control, have a set of controls, where they can decide how they want to change that behavior.

So one of the ways you're doingthat is you have this thing.

What do you call it, the dashboard? – [Sameer] Yeah, there's a dashboard.

– Is it just a lot more checkboxes for people to have to look at? Like, are you findingthat people are actually finding value in this thing? – The first step is awareness.

And that dashboard ispretty straight forward.

It shows you how much time youspent on your phone each day, what apps you spent that time in, how many times you unlocked your phone, how many notifications you've received.

And then it lets you drilldown on those things.

And then the next piece of it is: okay, so how can the software help me if I want to change my behavior? So that's where we're puttinga bunch of capabilities we're calling, you know, user controls.

So, you can set a timelimit on the amount of time you want to spend in an app.

And so I could say, forexample, I only wanna spend thirty minutes a day inYouTube or in Instagram, or my favorite game, maybeSubway Surfer, right? And another situation that we find people really talked to us a lot about was trying to be fully present for something.

And the phone, perhaps, not helping with that.

So, Do Not Disturb's beingimproved where I can.



When I turn on Do Not Disturb, now all the visual interruptions go away.

– So it doesn't shownotifications on lock screen.

Not only does it not vibrate, it doesn't show anything at all.

– No vibrations.

Basically, no interruptions.

– So after that reallybrief look at Android P, what do I think? Well, I'm kind of hopeful.

I really love the idea of exploding apps out into the rest of the phone, so that you can just do a search and jump right to the thing you wanna do.

And, I'm really intrigued bythe idea of using apps less 'cause, I don't know, Iuse Twitter way too much.

If you take those two ideastogether, what's really interesting is Google'strying to set up a system where you think about your phone less.

Both because it does stufffor you automatically through AI, and because youjust use your phone less.

And maybe we could all stand to do that.

But even though I'm hopeful, that doesn't mean I'm naive.

Android has a huge updateproblem; it always has.

And the theory is thatthis new Treble system they've developed is going toget it on more phones sooner.

We're making a good step here.

It's gonna shop up on, like, seven manufacturers in beta right away.

And we should have iton a bunch of phones, not just Pixel phones, by the end of the year.

But, Google has to executebecause every year, we see a great new version of Android and then we have to waitto get it on the phones that everybody buys: Samsung phones.

I would really like to see them fix that this year with Android P.

Thank you so much for watching.

If you like this video, there's another video over at Verge Science youshould definitely watch.

It's about eye charts andare they actually useful for helping you see ifyour vision's any good and why they're always all the same.

You should go check it out.


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