During I/O 2018, Google announced the next iteration of Android P, Android P Beta (Developer Preview 2). The new Android P Beta build is much more stable than the previous Alpha version and further, it is available for more devices alongside the standard Pixel smartphones. This post will be dedicated towards linking complete Android P Beta firmware packages for Google Pixel and Pixel 2 which you can download and install manually. Also, this build has also initiated the Beta program through which users can enroll themselves and start receiving builds through OTA (Over-the-air) servers.
Once you install the latest Android P Beta on your Pixel or Pixel 2 device, you would immediately notice an improvement in performance and reliability. Further, once you install this build, all further updates will arrive through the air and you would no longer need to manually download each upcoming version and flash it on your phone. The feature set remains mostly the same as in the Alpha build.
Android P Beta – Details:
As we have indicated before, there aren’t any new functionality or UI changes compared to Android P DP1 but for users coming from Oreo, this new version would be a substantial change. If you aren’t already accustomed with the new Android P features, we have attached some of the highlight technical details right ahead.
Here is the complete list of changes with Android P along with technical details:
Display cutout support
- Android P offers support for the latest edge-to-edge screens with display cutout for camera and speaker. The new DisplayCutout class lets you find out the location and shape of the non-functional areas where content shouldn’t be displayed. To determine the existence and placement of these cutout areas, use the getDisplayCutout() method.
Android P will be providing an enhanced messaging experience.
- Starting in Android 7.0 (API level 24), you can add an action to reply to messages or enter other text directly from a notification. Android P enhances this feature with the following enhancements:
- Support for images: Android P now displays images in Messaging Notifications on phones. You can use setData() on the message to display an image.
- Simplified support for conversation participants: The new Notification.Person class is used to identify people involved in a conversation, including their avatars and URIs. Many other APIs, such as addMessage(), now leverage the Person class instead of a CharSequence.
- Save replies as drafts: Your app can retrieve the EXTRA_REMOTE_INPUT_DRAFT sent by the system when a user inadvertently closes a messaging notification. You can use this extra to pre-populate text fields in the app so users can finish their reply.
- Identify if a conversation is a group conversation: You can use setGroupConversation() to purposefully identify a conversation as a group or non-group conversation.
- Set the semantic action for an intent: The setSemanticAction() method allows you to give semantic meaning to an action, such as mark as read, delete, reply, and so on.
- SmartReply: Android P supports the same suggested replies available in your messaging app. Use RemoteInput.setChoices() to provide an array of standard responses to the user.
HDR VP9 Video, HEIF image compression, and Media APIs
- Android P adds built-in support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) VP9 Profile 2, so you can now deliver HDR-enabled movies to your users from YouTube, Play Movies, and other sources on HDR-capable devices.
Neural Networks API 1.1
- The Neural Networks API was introduced in Android 8.1 (API level 27)to accelerate on-device machine learning on Android. Android P expands and improving the API, adding support for nine new ops — Pad, BatchToSpaceND, SpaceToBatchND, Transpose, Strided Slice, Mean, Div, Sub, and Squeeze.
- Android P introduces a number of new security features, including a unified fingerprint authentication dialog and high-assurance user confirmation of sensitive transactions. For more details, see the Security Updates page.
Google summarizes the new Android P release with the following statement:
Android P introduces great new features and capabilities for users and developers. This document highlights what’s new for developers.
Download Android P Beta (Developer Preview 2) Images
Contrary to before, Android P Beta can also be obtained by enrolling your device in the Beta program and the build will be pushed directly to your phone. However, a more quicker procedure is that you download the complete firmware from the links ahead and manually flash it on your device.
Here are the download links available for Pixel smartphones:
Download system factory image for Pixel 2 XL (taimen): Download Android P Beta
Download system factory image for Pixel 2 (walleye): Download Android P Beta
Download system factory image for Pixel XL (marlin): Download Android P Beta
Download system factory image for Pixel (sailfish): Download Android P Beta