Android P is the upcoming mobile Operating System from Google and the first developer preview of Android P was released last month to the Google Pixel and the Nexus users. While visually the update does not come with huge changes, it has a lot of behind the screen improvements and tiny but significant additions to the Android user interface.
Google added some new features to Android P, which Android users have been wishing for many years now. Some of these features include native editing tools for screenshots, option to control media volume by default using the volume buttons and more. There are also a lot of other significant improvements like restricting microphone access for apps running in the background, runtime enhancements and reduced boot time.
But unfortunately, you would have to wait till your device get the official update of Android P to enjoy all these new improvements and enhancements. But the good thing is that you would be able to actually try out some of the new features introduced to Android P right now on your Android phone with some minor tweaks. If you are interested in getting these features on your device just follow the below steps.
Android P launcher
The first major change made to Android P is the new home screen launcher. While there are not many changes in terms of visual improvements, there is certainly more to this than meets the eye.
A few changes introduced to the new Android P launcher includes, a new lightly shaded bottom dock background with round corners, a microphone icon added to the Google Search widget, and lastly, the page indicator has also been moved inside the shaded area than above the dock.
So, if you are interested in getting your hands on the latest Android P launcher, then you can go ahead and install it on your device by downloading it from the link here. You can now just open the file from your device and proceed to install it to use the launcher on your Android device.
If this is the first time you are installing an APK file on your phone, then you may want to enable the option to install apps from unknown sources by heading over to Settings->Security->Unknown sources and enable the option.
Screenshot editing options
While a lot of third-party OEMs like Samsung and Xiaomi have had this feature for a long time now, native screenshot editing options are finally introduced to the stock version of Android with the latest version of Android P.
With the majority of Android devices have not even been updated to Android Oreo, it would be a long time before you can officially get the Android P update on your device, unless you are using the latest Google Pixel device. However, the good news is you can still get this feature on your Android phone with the help of a nifty little app called markup.
The app acts as an exact replica of the screenshot editing tool in Android P and it also comes with the same features as it including the option to crop, draw on your screenshot using colourful markers or pencils,and undo and redo options.
You can get the feature on your Android device, all you have to do is to install the Markup APK file from here and once you take a screenshot now after installing the Markup screenshot editing tool, just click on the share option and select markup from the list of apps.
The screenshot will now be imported into the Markup tool from there you can proceed with drawing, cropping and other editing options and once you are done, just use the export option to save the edited screenshot file to your device.
One of the subtler but significant changes introduced to Android P was the repositioning of the Volume slider from the top of the screen to the right side of the screen. While visually this isn’t a big change, but it does help you to easily access the slider if you have a phone with a large screen.
While Android P also introduces a feature where you can set the volume slider to control your media volume by default instead of your ringtone or notification volume, you would have to wait till you actually get Android P to enjoy that feature. However, there is a way to get the side positioned volume slider right now on your Android device.
Just install the Android P Volume slider port APK from the link here at XDA labs and once the installation is done, you can open the app from your app drawer and select your favourite position for the volume slider to appear and even select your favourite colour.
This might probably be one of the most interesting and highly useful changes introduced to Android P. Lockdown is a feature, which when enabled will disable all the biometric unlock options enabled on your device like fingerprint and face unlock options and will force you to enter your password or pattern to unlock your device.
This would be particularly useful when you go to sleep or in a new place and you don’t want anyone to misuse your fingerprint or use an image or a video of you to unlock your Android device without your consent. Enabling the lockdown mode will also disable your smart lock options like voice unlock, location based or bluetooth unlock.
If you want to use the lockdown mode on your Android device, you can download the lockdown mode APK from here and then install it on your device. It is a standalone app installed on your device but it works similar to the lockdown mode on Android P and you can enable it by opening the app from the app drawer on your device.
Smart reply was previously introduced as a standalone app to all Android phones by Google, a few weeks before the official release of the first developer preview of Android P. However, the feature has made its way into Android P as a native feature and along with smart replies, Android P message notifications also has other features like inline images, user icons and more.
The easiest way to get the new smart reply feature on Android P on your Android device is to simply install the Google’s Smart Reply APK on your device and the app will now automatically display smart reply in notifications and inline messages for supported apps like Android Messenger, Google Allo Messenger and Whatsapp to name a few.
Which one of these above mentioned Android P features is your favourite? Were you able to get these on your Android device? Are there any other features that you like which is not mentioned on this list? Let us know about your thoughts in the comments section below!