What’s New in Android P: The Really Good Stuff
No major OS upgrade is complete without the addition of some features that define the release. For example, Oreo heralded in the era of Autofill. We’re not quite sure what’ll be the defining feature of Android P, so let’s take a look at some significant changes Android P brings.
Up to 5 Bluetooth devices can now be connected
Yes, you heard that right, a new developer option in Android P lets you connect up to five Bluetooth devices simultaneously, which is way more than the maximum of two you could do in Oreo. Technically, you can connect five Bluetooth speakers at the same time, but only one will output audio. This looks like one of the features that everybody wants, but only a few need.
It is possible to track apps which sent notifications recently
Very often, we dismiss notifications en-masse, and there’s no way to figure out which app it came from. In Android P there’s menu that tracks recent notifications so you can disallow a particularly pesky app. Each app on the list includes the time you received a notification, and an option to disable notifications. This way, you can isolate annoying games that send you notifications to unlock stuff without having to go through the complete list of apps. This menu is available in Settings > Apps & Notifications > Advanced > Notifications—and scroll down to the bottom to see Recently sent. The app could also help if you accidentally dismissed an important notification, by letting you zero in on which app sent it.
New lockdown button in the power menu
Android P brings with a new lockdown mode that disallows the device to be unlocked via fingerprint, voice and smart lock. The option can be found in the lock screen preferences from where it has to be toggled. The lockdown option consists of a blue lock icon located at the bottom of the power menu. However, the lockdown mode is valid only for one unlock. So if you unlock your device after enabling lockdown mode, you have to re-enable it to take effect after locking your phone for a second time. The mode also blocks what Google calls “Enhanced Access” to the device, but we’re not sure what that means, yet.
It is possible to change the vibration strength for calls, notifications, and touch
The ability to adjust the intensity of the phone vibration motor was a feature that Stock Android was sorely lacking. Frankly, I’m surprised that it took Google so long to implement it in the first place. In Android P, you’ll find a new Vibration section in the accessibility settings that lets you change the vibration strength for phone calls, notifications, and touch. They can be set to High, Medium, Low, and Off. Some devices’ vibration motors feel like a pocket defibrillator, and we’re glad that we can turn them down a notch.