Android P Developer Preview 4: A quick look on everything that’s new

Google released Android P Developer Preview 4 only a few days back, and by now we’re done with our analysis of changes it brings to the existing Android P features. There’re a total of 8 major changes in this preview, and we’re going to explain them for you in brief yet complete details. Take a look on them:

#1. More control on vibrations

Vibration setting in DP 4

The 4th developer preview of Android provides users more control over the vibration of their phone. It allows users to turn vibration on or off for calls, notifications and touches. The setting can be found inside the Accessibility Menu under Vibration section.

#2. Updated iconography

No one had expected too many visual changes coming to Android P Developer Preview 4, but Google is Google! When we got our hands on DP 4 we learned that this time the company has tweaked almost entire iconography of Android system UI. Icons in settings, quick settings, app permission pages, volume controls and status bar all have been given a more minimalist look by removing their fills. Even the keyboard switcher has been given a new design, as you can see in the images given below.

#3. Refreshed gesture app switcher

The gesture navigation system is one of the most divisive features of Android P. It has a lot of admirers, but also a lot of haters! The developer preview 4 tweaks this system a bit to make space for bigger full screen previews and slider on the screen. Actually, there’s no slider in the new app switcher – your finger is the only slider that you use to swipe between various apps! The previews of app in the center of screen appear much larger than before. Earlier app previews used to remain of same size as we cycled across them, but now the one in center acquires a larger size.

#4. New Location for Bluetooth and NFC

The developer preview 4 of Android P also changes the location of Bluetooth section and NFC togggle. Now you find both these sections in the Connection Preferences subsection. Not a very big change though.

#5. Separate Slider for Call Volume

Android P Developer Preview 4 also adds a separate slider for call volume adjustment to Sound Settings. The new slider will make it easier for you to change call volume outside a conversation, and it also makes sense to have it located in the sound settings instead of it being treated as a completely alien thing that gets activated only during calls.

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#6. Less Direct Share Targets

One of the slightly controversial things in DP 4 is that it reduces the Direct Share targets to 4 from 8. Now when you want to share something from any app with any of your friends, you’ll see 4 direct share targets only instead of 8 that used to appear before.

#7. Manual Toggle for Dark and Light Launchers

Toggle for launcher themes

The dark version of Google’s stock Android launcher theme was launched with Pixel 2, but till now it was an automatic affair that used to change only with wallpaper. Recently Google promised a toggle to change it manually, and that toggle has now been added to DP 4 of Android P. It can be accessed from ‘Device Theme’ option Settings >> Display >> Advanced.

#8. Rotation Toggle in Gesture Navigation

Rotation toggle in DP4

With first developer preview of Android P Google had added a neat rotation toggle that allowed you to lock the screen in portrait or landscape modes when auto rotation was turned off. In DP 4 company has given a new look to that toggle and its position in Gesture navigation mode has also been changed. While in traditional navigation mode it appears in the right side of navigation bar, in Gesture navigation mode it appears immediately to the right of home button. And then it vanishes when you rotate the phone back!

Other changes

Some other minor changes have also been done to this developer preview. They include new gesture navigation button design, app actions for Pixels of 2016 and some other features that don’t bring any visible change to the user. Overall this is a developer preview that’s pretty close to the real world Android P that will be coming later in summer. Share your thoughts about it in the comments.

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