Android P will feature a 'dramatic redesign' and support notch displays

In less than three months, Google will take the stage at its Mountain View campus in California for its annual I/O developer conference. One of the things we're expecting Google to announce at this year's I/O is Android P / 9.0, and a new report from Bloomberg sheds some light on what we could expect from the latest update.

To not much surprise, Android P will reportedly feature even deeper Google Assistant integration. Developers will have the ability to integrate the Assistant right within their apps, and the home screen search bar may prompt a search with Assistant rather than the more traditional Google Search. Neither of these two things have been finalized for P's official release, but they seem like very plausible changes.

A "dramatic redesign" is in the works for Android P.

Along with this, it's also said that Google will use its next Android update to natively support a wider variety of device form factors – including phones with multiple screens, foldable designs, and displays with notches near the top. (a la Essential Phone and iPhone X). This has me a bit concerned about the Pixel 3 as someone who's not a fan of notch-style screens, but Google apparently sees some sort of value in them if it wants to devote the time and resources to support phones like this.

On a similar note, it's reported that Google will use Android P to introduce a "dramatic redesign" for the OS. It's unclear what exactly this will entail, but it suggests that Android will see its first major aesthetic change since the introduction of Material Design with Android 5.0 Lollipop in 2014.

As for the iconic name, one of the current contenders is Android Pistachio Ice Cream. I'd personally prefer Pumpkin Pie or Panna Cotta, but that could just be my pistachio allergy talking.

Based on what we know so far, what are you most excited for with Android P?

When is Google going to release Android P?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

114 Comments
  • Android Pina Colada sounds pretty good...
  • Only if your Android can afford to get caught in the rain
  • Seems like one of the main reasons for Google's OS overhaul is.... "Google reportedly hopes that adding such a notch to its handset—along with an overarching design update—will entice iOS users to switch to the Android side, either because of the features it provides, or because it makes the phones look more iPhone-like." https://slate.com/technology/2018/02/why-android-is-copying-the-iphone-x...
  • I'm partial to Peppermint Patty. :) Flicked via the BlackBerry keyboard on my Pixel 2.
  • Well, at least they didn't block commenting on this article like they do with PlayStation related articles.
  • Yeah all the Playstation and VR stuff... ugh. I can't tell you how many times I have deleted my bookmark to this site for articles like that. If it weren't for the AC employees I care about I wouldn't come back. In my mind it all started happening when Phil left which is really interesting to me. Whether or not that is actually true I don't know but I feel a lot changed at that time.
  • Phil left? I believe I've seen an article written by him recently
  • He was the editor, now he mainly deals with Modern Dad stuff.
  • Now he mainly deals with Amazon stuff. Corrected that for you.
  • I really miss Phil tbh. I have been watching old android central podcasts... You know, the video ones. Good times. They really ****** up.
  • Yep, the site definitely changed when Phil left. I don't really feel like commenting on how because frankly there are many ways, some good and some bad, but I do find myself checking the site far less frequently than I did.
  • Me, too. I know there are bills to pay, but there was a "How to use a PlayStation gift card" article the other day. And at this point, between a third and half of the articles on the main page at any given time are some combination of straight up sponsored ads, how-to articles for stuff that isn't Android-related, and "best accessories for [insert phone model here]" posts. It's become a real turn off, and that really bums me out because I've been regularly reading this site since I got my first Android phone.
  • Agree. This place is getting iMore'd into pushing readers away.
  • Yeah, I definitely check the site way less often. It's all about DEAL DEALS DEALS than actual news.
  • I for one am getting tired of the rehashed articles. Lets change one line and call it a new article!
  • I get that they're trying to round out coverage, but the constant barrage of PlayStation articles is getting old. They keep recycling the same "If you're a total idiot, here's how you eject your disc." or "Here's how to update to the newest system software by selecting an easily accessible menu item." stories. For me it isn't so much that they're putting up PS stories, it's the fact that they keep recycling the same ones and the stories make Android Central users out to be total morons.
  • This is how I feel about Macrumours. Apple released the HomePod and I swear there were 200 articles each a paragraph long over this stupid thing. Here’s how to turn it on. Here’s how to say “Hey Siri”. Here’s how to link your Apple Music subscription. Here’s how we know you’re an idiot. Etc..... I feel dumber for checking that site. I’m over it now.
  • Is this redesign going to be related to the "Material Design 2" commit that was spotted in Chromium?
  • That's what I was thinking. I've read this and an article from The Verge and no mention.
  • I hope so. I don't really want them to move away to much from Material Design, not because I love it but because I don't want to wait for another year or two again for the OS and 3rd party apps to have a unified design.
  • I hope so. I don't think Google would change change it's decision on material design anytime soon. They just implemented it into Google search with the rounded edges and more material design. I just hope a dark theme is in the works I'm mad the YouTube app for Android doesn't have a dark mode like iOS does.
  • Here's hoping this doesn't mean the Pixel 3 has a notch.
  • I sure hope not. I am still using the original Pixel and the Pixel 3 would be when I upgrade since the Pixel 2 wasn't worth the cost. Not with a notch though. I'd go another year if there's a notch.
  • Maybe it's to support future display options for the Essential phone, Samsung etc ...?
  • I think it's safe to assume this. Who knows what they're doing with the Pixel 3, but there's clearly a demand from some OEMs for a notch, and it's to Google's advantage to figure out a reliable behavior for dealing with these unusual display shapes so that developers don't have to figure out 20 different solutions.
  • All thanks to Apple for Google to no choice embrace the notch. So far you have a bunch of Chinese OEM wannabes with their iPhone X notch copycats and not to mention Huawei's latest is going to have a very similar X notch design. Also, there are renders of the upcoming Sharp Aquos s3 that is pretty much an iPhone X clone with the X's notch and back design.
  • No choice but to embrace the notch? Just because hack Chinese teams have lazy designers like Apple doesn't mean that the companies that do have the resources would ever slap an ugly lazy designed notch on their phone.
  • The notch was a compromise for the housing of the sensors that they couldn't get underneath the screen. Anyways, time will tell what manufacturers come out with a notch design. More specifically iPhone X notch inspired designs.
  • Come on, something different. I want a notch top and bottom.
  • With no bezel. At all. In fact, just give me the screen. </sarcasm>
  • I think it does. I don't think hey would make special provisions for Essential or anyone else. I have a feeling Pixel 3 will look very Essential-like. Or maybe if they cant figure out the in screen fingerprint thing well enough, they will do a bottom notch for the scanner.
  • Agree! Keep the great design and up the specs.
  • Don't give them any ideas!! It completely ruins the look of the Essential phone!
  • I was fearing the same thing. Let's hope not. I have the 2 and the thinner bezels of the 2XL are plenty thin. Don't want to loose these awesome stereo speakers that's for sure! Flicked via the BlackBerry keyboard on my Pixel 2
  • Finally an update that deserves the full number? It may be wishful thinking, but I hope that Google shakes things up with P. Android has been getting quite stagnant lately, with each and every update less enticing than the previous ones. It's always one major feature, some polish and same old better battery promises. Devoid of competition, they just don't feel like doing too much.
  • Quality assurance is better than creativity.
  • Graphical re-designs are pointless at a point are pointless and don't provide any real benefit. Material Design and a modern and effective design. I suspect the rumors regarding UI are related to *adding* design elements that will benefit alternate form factors (tablets, hybrid laptops, etc). The phone UI on large screen devices is stupid, never understood why they unified the phone/tablet UI after Ice Cream Sandwich...
  • Because the only tablet that sells uses the same interface as the phone. Seems to work fine for those people.
  • Stagnant? You do understand it is an operating system... Nothing more than a bunch of sub menu's where phone settings are changed! Really, is that your focus, sub menus? Do you actually have any apps on your phone? Or did you buy your android phone because you thought opening OS menus constantly was THE BEST GAME ever! Give me stagnant OS year over year! Familiarity is very important... It makes us all more productive over time.
  • This guy gets it. And did people not learn from the painful transition of having to use 3rd party apps with Holo and Material Design(not just aesthetically but also the functionality of the UI) for the first couple of years after Lollipop was released? I can accept some slight changes here and there but a total revamp might push me back to the other side of the fence at least until things are back to normal. I also think that the stagnation that people are feeling on both Android and IOS have more to do with smartphone's capabilities reaching its peak than what the UI looks like.
  • Android has come a long way, it's really great now. You can't redesign every year
  • Sounds like the Pixel 3 will have a notch lol. Man they want to be Apple so bad smh. I didn't think so until now. However, why put that much effort into notches unless one of their phones is going to have one. OAN, I likely won't be able to use this update until the S10 comes out so I'm not that excited at the moment.
  • It's not so much that suddenly OEMs are wanting to make phones with notches in the display. It's more about the display technology now allows creating a display that extends from edge to edge without a bezel. The notch is merely an area where necessary devices such as front facing camera, speaker, proximity sensor and light sensors will be. I think we will see many new phones across the board have bezel free displays and over time, the "notch" area will become smaller and smaller due to new camera and speaker technology. There is also the possibility of display technology with the speaker integrated inside which may lead to a small circle cut out of the display for the camera so more like a small hole in the corner which would be less bothersome than the notches we've seen.
  • Cool let's see what Samsung experience software they copy this time..
  • I really think they should be discouraging use of the 'notches' instead of offering to support them.
  • Why so android can been even more of a mess?
  • So android won't be a mess if they support crappy designs like a unibrow phone? Ok then...
  • I'm skeptical of a "dramatic redesign". One of the biggest draws for me is the material design aesthetic that we currently have. Don't confuse innovation with change. Not all change is positive.
  • People were saying that when Material Design first launched. Change CAN be good (we don't want Android to look as stale as iOS now, do we?)
  • Agreed, Material Design is as good as it gets. Nothing stale about it and far from iOS which is basically the same basic design it's always had.
  • Considering how few phones have O on them, there's no hurry on P. Unless somehow Google changes how we get these releases...
  • Exactly. I'm still on Android 7.0 on my Galaxy S8 plus while we're talking about version 9.0.
  • when i read "support for notch" i also thought of the Pixel 3... i personally find that to be one of the most ridiculous trends. fingerprint readers below screen, great screens, better cameras, improved software, battery performance etc... there are so many areas where smartphones can improve, but they go with this absolutely stupid feature. i can't stand it.
  • If it's not a native system wide dark theme, I don't care what new ugly they bring. Also, Pontefract cake.
  • This.
  • Unsurprisingly, I had to look that up. From the Wikipedia article: "The term "cake" has a long history. The word itself is of Germanic origin, from the Germanic "kakâ" ...and i laughed, because I am twelve.
  • In the meantime my G6 is still locked on Android 7. Why do we have to rely on a Pixel to get timely updates on Android device in 2018?
  • Because Android updates don't really matter, especially with a device that has been skinned like the G6. Android version updates are going to have minimal impact on such a device.
  • I think it would be great if Google would JUST STOP making a "new" version every year and FIX THE CRAPPY VERSIONS WE ALL ALREADY ARE COMPELLED TO USE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Who cares about notches? I can see the need if we must have screens that go to the very edges of the phone...you gotta put the all important selfie camera and other sensors somewhere...right? But I am tired of getting new versions of the OS when there are still issues with the last three versions... blue-tooth, WiFi, NFC connectivity to name a few. Just read about the complaints on any forum for any phone. Google, are you listening at all? FIX what's broke 1st!
  • I agree with your statement regarding no need for change for change sake.
    I've not really needed the extra features since 6.
    But I've also not had any software issues with 7, 7.1, 8 or 8.1.
  • These issues you mention sound like they are device specific, not an inherent issue with Android. It would be up to the manufacturer to fix the firmware on their devices, not Google.
  • A "dramatic redesign" ... seems unlikely.
  • The most "dramatic redesign" these days from Google's Android is the mascot they pick to represent it's letter each year. Otherwise, it's been the same for quite a while .
  • Pfffft. Yeah Oreo looks just like Ice cream sandwich, smdh
  • No, but no real difference since marshmallow.
  • Pistachio Baklava
  • Multiple SIM card support was added in Lollipop 5.1. Support for adoptable storage with SD card was added in Marshmallow. However, Google never used those features in their phones. So notch support in Android P doesn't mean the Pixel 3 would have a notch.
  • Yep, good point.
  • At my age I'm always afraid that if I dont keep up I'll become a dinosaur. But after a 2 year stint with Windows phone I came back to Android Marshmallow and felt right at home. Bring on the change. I ain't skeered.
  • All I hope is that they have a dark theme option.... jeez
  • "a dramatic redesign" aka Software engineers justifying their employment. Keep it simple, make it bigger, strong, faster, more powerful than a.... Should be the philosophy. I don't want to sound like a dinosaur... But there is value in keeping things mostly familiar. Dramatic OS changes is difficult for average, low information users: the silent majority of Android mobile consumers. I always appreciate improvements, but Android already suffers from too much fragmentation because manufacturers limit Android updates to 2-3 years.
  • Software engineers don't design.
  • No, they don't. But they justify their jobs writing code because some A-hole at Google takes great joy in making just enough minutiae OS changes so that average users get hopelessly lost in sub menus of Android menus.
  • I miss Phil's Sunday editorial and you all are not alone. I use to come to this site multiple times a day now weeks could go by and I won't check it out. It's a totally different feel. At least Jerry is still here. I can always appreciate anything he writes.
  • Why Google Why follow the blasted notch? I hate it as much as I hate the iPhone X, I won't buy a phone that has that horrible notch. I really hope the Pixel 3 doesn't have a notch otherwise I'll be using my Pixel 2 XL for quite a while.
  • Well, get ready for a Pixel with a notch, folks! 🙄
  • Nobody wants a notch in their display.
  • If the "dramatic redesign" consists in getting rid of the white backgrounds in favour of pure-black ones and get rid of the circus colours, great. Also, the "notch" compatibility is likely to accomodate for the iPixel 3 which will, once again, be just a sh*tty iPhone rip-off. Google Assistant is absolute crap. It's bad enough that the long press on the home button how shows that instead of Google Search. Making Assistant even more intrusive will just likely lead me to start using Cortana (and...*sighs* Bing) more often.
  • Google Assistant is way better than Cortana and most definitely Siri, it's the best, no debate, no ifs no buts.
  • No, it's not. Google Search is better. Assistant is just sh*t. I don't need that crap. I was better served with long pressing the home button to do a Google Search. Not to conjure up some half baked crappy "Assistant" that doesn't assist with anything I need or care about. End of story.
  • If you don't need it you don't have to use it.
  • Let me know when Bixby has the database that Google has and is able to understand accents and all language then come back to me, until then Bixby will always be a second rate Google Assistant clone, end of.
  • Bixby? You're just drunk. Lay off the Internet.
    I couldn't have been more clear about what I'm talking about.
  • Maybe by the time "P" goes mainstream, something, or some mfgr will come out with a better solution than the notch". I've heard of under display tech, that can put whatever comes in then notch, under the glass, so you still get the full screen. This, with under glass fingerprint reader, could be special. There are ways not to follow what apple does(though they weren't the first with the notch, but take all the praise for it).
  • Really ! This will impact such a small percentage of Android users that it's barely news worthy ...so many phone's not even on Oreo yet
  • exactly what I was thinking, only 1% of phones will get P within 24-36 months. Cry about it 2 years from now when you get to 4.1%
  • If you think only 1% of phones will get P in 24-36 months then you haven't at all examined Android history. Oh, you didn't specify Android phones that people used on a monthly basis, you just said "phones" (which includes those from the 80's among others). In that case, I doubt even 1% will be achieved.
  • « not a fan of notch-style screens » I was skeptical too but in fact a notch is just kind of an interactive bezel so it is really not that bad
  • Palito de Coco
  • I hate the notch. I am not a fan of curved screens either. I am going to be stuck with old tech forever if all phones keep going this route!
  • Android P is gonna force notch your phone, whether you like it or not. It's gonna put that little baby right there, top-center, because it's cool. 😂
  • i love redisigns
  • Should be Android "cat". Think about it for a second before you slam me for using a word that begins with c instead of P. I mean, not everybody eats "cat", but some people do...
  • Pana Cotta!
  • Peanut butter cookie, or cup or PB & J. Sorry everyone with alergies....
  • Android Popsicle. Thank me later... 😊 If you prefer something more exotic, how about... Android Panettone
  • How about Android Penguin? Hey they did it with KitKat so why not Penguin? Or another chocolate sweet treat.
  • Android peanut butter ^_^
  • I would prefer Android Peda. Peda is a popular Indian sweet.
  • This is my last post, I'm going to uninstall the Android Central app.it just has become to stagnated ! with articles like "how to restart your Note 8"
    goodbye Android Central
  • My last post came after the AC was overcome by Pokemon Go... eventually this to shall pass...
  • OMG I remember that...and I wish I didn't.
  • Surely Peanut Butter or Popcorn!
  • The thing I'm most looking forward to in Peanut Brittle? Google not breaking things that are currently working....🤔
  • No notch for me!!!
  • I just checked the dashboard of Android Developers for the latest Android platform usage stats. Android Oreo 8.0 is installed on 0.8% of phones, with Android 8.1 on 0.3%. Android 8.0 was released almost exactly 6 months ago. It is absolutely rediculous to have a serious conversation about Android P and it's relevance even if it is released 3 months from now. But... maybe... It just doesn't matter. Some how 🤣, 99% of Android users are doing just fine... They haven't all been hacked and homeless... Their phones work just fine. Android 6.0, released October, 2015, remains number 1 at 28.1%, 7.0 second at 22.3%. ie. Over half Android phones are running a version of Android over two years old. https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html
  • The fact that "notch" displays are becoming a thing saddens me.
  • Yes, it's disgusting. Vivo will be the first company with an in screen fingerprint lock. I don't own any tin foil hats... But I view the facial recognition unlock technology in phones (sensors, etc, in the notch area) as an attempt to get the public introduce d, and comfortable, with, facial recognition technology that will expand in society. Look no further than Chinese use of the technology for apartment entry to tracking citizens movement within cities. The investment in facial recognition and fingerprint unlock tech is meant for much more than just unlocking your phone... As a phone unlock.... It is laughable at the effort over such a trivial, non core movie function. Anyways... I'd like to see the fingerprint sensor on the front display come to other manufacturers... But zero interest in further facial recognition technology on my phone.
  • So the notch is expected on more designs so it has to implemented in to the OS?
  • I hope the P doesn't stand for Poop Sandwich!
  • As an eye candy junkie, I'm really curious to see the new design! Hopefully it'll feature keyboard and action keys bar that match each other, and at least support an option to color shift to match the app to minimize the risk of burn-in.
  • Android P talk and I still can't get a final version of O on my phone
  • Parfait
  • How can I fix my small crack on my motoz phone let me know please this is AJ