What’s new in Android P: The Bad Stuff

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Mar 8

Every major operating system upgrade comes with its share of minor annoyances, often in the form of commonly used features being removed or modified. Let’s take a look at what Google axed in Android P. You can download the launcher from this link to take a look at the changes yourself.

Battery menu no longer includes per-app usage data

In previous versions of Android, you could see per-app battery usage in the system settings. In Android P, that’s been relegated to a corner in the developer options. Once you scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll see there’s no list of how much battery each app consumed anymore. Instead, there’s a watered down item near the top that tells you how heavily your phone has been used. If the battery usage has been deemed heavy deemed heavy, you can pull up a list of the top apps responsible for it. To access full usage data, you’ll have to get into developer settings and check it via the “Android 8.0 battery settings” menu right near the top.

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Substratum themes no longer work

Upon its release at in September of last year, Substratum instantly became a crowd favorite as it gave people the ability to reduce the increasing amount of whiteness Google was shoving into Android (and still is). It didn’t seem to sit well with Google, so Substratum and custom overlays, in general, are no longer operational on Android P. The change was first noticed by an XDA developer user.

The lead Substratum developers have confirmed the issue. It is pretty unfortunate, especially considering that Android P incorporates even more white in its UI despite dark mode being one of the most requested features since Oreo. Root access won’t cut it as an overlay can’t be installed because the platform certificate mismatch will still present a problem. A potential solution is to patch, Framework.jar. However, this is something that only custom ROMs will be able to resolve, and those without root are out of luck. Android P still allows overlays to be installed, but only those installed by the system like what the Razer Phone has.

Quick setting toggles are no longer expandable

One of the more useful features Nougat gave us was the ability to quickly select which Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device you’d like to connect to any Bluetooth/WiFi from quick settings by tapping the text underneath. It isn’t going to be possible anymore because Google is taking that ability away from us in Android P. You’ll no longer be able to do anything other than toggle quick settings on and off much like iOS. Let’s hope this functionality is added to Android P later in the development stage.

Yes, this is a developer preview and some of the changes might not make it to the actual release, but it’s always disappointing when oft useful features are removed in an update.