For the first time ever, a public beta of an unreleased Android version is being made available on non-Google devices.
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Google’s opening Keynote for the I/O 2018 developer conference included some brand new features including the ability of Google Assistant to place calls on your behalf, augmented reality maps, and a way to strike a digital life balance. CEO Sundar Pichai also announced the first public beta for Android P. What dessert it will be named after isn’t known yet though, but what’s confirmed is that you can try out the beta version of the upcoming Android P upgrade even if you don’t have Pixel phone. For the first time ever, Google is making the public beta for an unreleased Android version available for other devices by Nokia, Sony, Xiaomi, and more.
Several non-Google branded devices can get the update to Android P right now. According to Wired, the compatible devices are the Sony Xperia XZ2, Nokia 7 Plus, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Vivo X21, Oppo R15 Pro and the unreleased OnePlus 6. This is of course apart from the Pixel, Pixel XL, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.
To get the update on the Pixel devices, users will need to enrol in the Android Beta Program and wait for the update to roll out. For other devices, the update needs to be flashed by downloading the file from the Android Developers blog. Be warned that the update might void the warranty and you might not receive customer support if you are on the beta version. The update will definitely prevent you from receiving the monthly security patches Google issues.
Needless to say, the update could be riddled with bugs and all features might not work perfectly. In case you decide to jump back to a stable version of Android, all your data will be wiped clean. You can, of course, make a backup of your data and restore it later. Google says in its developer blog, “Be sure to back up your Android phone before installing beta software. The updates that you’ll receive as a part of this program are pre-release versions, and may contain errors and defects that can affect the normal functioning of your device.”
Android P is Google's most AI-heavy update ever. It's more intuitive thanks to Android P's 'actions' and 'slices' that integrate features of third-party apps into the overall fabric of the OS like the Google Search and Google Assistant. Actions are like shortcuts that pop up when searching for something, while Slices are visual elements from a third-party app that will pop up when you make a related search. Google's DeepMind will be used to improve the battery life. There are new gestures that are much like the iPhone X, but seems more intuitive and easy to use. There's also a new Dashboard that will help manage your time spent on the device by tracking the number of times you unlocked the phone, how long you used an app and more.
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