As Google I/O 2018 winds down, there was one final session where the floor was open to anyone to get their queries answered by members from the development team. Android P is the company's upcoming major release and the public beta just went live a couple of days back. Google has overhauled the multitasking menu, which it now calls Overview. Instead of having your apps stacked one behind the other and scrolling vertically to get to them, you now have a card-style layout which shows you all your open apps in a horizontal scroll.
However, in this redesign process, Google ditched the 'Clear All' button which essentially lets you clear all your opened apps from Overview with one touch. This feature isn't present in the latest beta build either, which was brought up by one of the members in the audience. To this, one of the engineers from the Android team started by explaining how Android is managing memory well enough and that there's isn't any need to swipe away app, only to follow with a, "We're sorry. We're looking at bringing it back." This was met with big applause from those attending the session. Furthermore, Dave Burke, VP of Engineering for Android, who was present on stage to answer audience queries confirmed that the next build of Android P will have the button.
Another lighter question from an audience member was about the placement of the clock on the left side of the stars bar instead of the right side. The same engineer explained that due to the display cut-outs being implemented by OEMs, there was a need to distribute things from one side to the other. "By moving the clock over, we were able to create a consistent experience across Android devices irrespective of whether they have an unbroken top edge of the display panel," he added.
Google's latest flavour of Android brings a host of improvements across the board from the user experience, accessibility, performance and lots more. You can expect the final version to launch around the fourth quarter this year, when we'll most likely get the next Pixel smartphones. If you can't wait and want to try out P right now, check out our guide on how to do so.
Disclosure: Google sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the trip to Google I/O, Mountain View.
We discussed Android P, Google Assistant, Google Photos, and also the most important things that Google did not mention during its I/O 2018 keynote, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.