Latest Android P Beta Finalizes APIs for Developers

Google has distributed a new version of Android P to beta testers and stocked the build with the final APIs. In addition to the APIs, Google says the Android P SDK is now in final form, providing developers with everything they need to get their apps up to date.

Developers will need to target API level 28 for their P-compatible apps. The core new APIs include the the Biometric Prompt API, the Dynamics Processing API, WiFi Round-Trip-Time (RTT) API, DisplayCutout API, Multi-Camera API, GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API, and the Neural Networks API.

Google says the new BiometricPrompt API provides a standard authentication experience across a growing range of biometric sensors, such as fingerprint readers, iris scanners, and face recognition cameras. The Dynamics Processing API should help developers improve the audio effects in their apps. The Magnifier API lets developers make sure the magnifier widget can be attached to any custom TextView. The TextClassifier API helps apps identify entities in content or text input. The Multi-Camera API lets apps access streams from up to three cameras simultaneously, such as two rear cameras, or a front and rear camera. The Neural Networks API was updated with support for nine new operations (Pad, BatchToSpaceND, SpaceToBatchND, Transpose, Strided Slice, Mean, Div, Sub, and Squeeze). These will lead to more complex on-device machine learning calculations.

This latter API is one of the more important for Android P. It us using machine learning to manage the new Doze, App Standby, Adaptive Battery, and Background Limits features. Google hopes developers will put these tools to use in order to help apps keep battery guzzling to a minimum.

Lets not forget what the Display Cutout API does: it lets developers customize their apps for devices that have a notch in the display. Tre important.

App Actions is a new way to help you raise the visibility of your app and help drive engagement. Slices are a new way to surface rich, templated content in places like Google Search and Assistant.

Google says developers should download the new SDK from Android Studio 3.2, which contains the new APIs, and get to work making their apps compatible with Android P.

The Android P Developer Beta is available to the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21UD and X21, and Essential PH‑1. It was pushed to the Nexus and Pixel phones immediately. The other phone makers haven't said when exactly the new beta will hit their devices.

Google says devs can publish their APK updates that are compiled against, or optionally targeting, API 28. "Publishing an update to Google Play during the preview lets you push updates to users to test compatibility on existing devices, including devices running Android P Beta 2," explained Google.

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