This year, Google is going to announce Android “P”, the newest version of its mobile operating system.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, some of the details that Google will be unveiling have been revealed ahead of Google I/O, the company’s giant developers conference. First, Google will be working to integrate Google Assistant –its digital personal assistant feature– with the operating system, which is not a surprise in the slightest. Google Assistant has turned into one of Google’s biggest features, available across its lineup of devices, so seeing more of a focus there makes sense.
The other big takeaway, according to the report, is that Google is allegedly going to mimic the iPhone X’s controversial “notch design”. This will set up a new design choice for Android smartphone manufacturers, where they will be able to adopt more features into the front-facing camera — just as Apple did with the TrueDepth camera system that takes advantage of that notch design in the flagship iPhone.
“Google is working on an overhaul of its Android mobile software for a new generation of smartphones mimicking Apple Inc.’s controversial new “notch” at the top of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the situation.”
The reason for this movie, based on the information gathered from unnamed sources, is that Google wants to sway iPhone customers over to Android. Google appears to assume that copying the notch design from the iPhone X might be enough to do that, especially with the technology that companies will be able to pack into that space, and changes that Google will be making with Android P to accommodate all of those changes.
“While Android dominates the middle and low-end of the global smartphone market, Apple controls much of the high-end with users who spend more on apps and other services. Embracing the notch may help change that. The design will mean more new Android phones with cutouts at the top of their screens to fit cameras and other sensors. That will likely support new features, helping Android device makers keep up with similar Apple technology.”
This is an interesting story for a variety of reasons, mostly because copying the iPhone X’s notch design seems almost insane. It’s not like that design has warranted universal praise. Even for someone like me who has gotten used to the notch, I still don’t want to see it on more devices. And for Google to copy it seems like the wrong move altogether. Plus, there’s also the fact that rumors suggest Apple is working on shrinking the notch design. So while Google’s changing Android to adopt it, Apple might be working it out of the proverbial system.
Of course, we have already seen some smartphone manufacturers that utilize Android copy the notch design in some fashion or another, so if Google thinks more companies are going to do that anyway, it might as well make the software adapt to it, and take advantage of it.[via AndroidBeat; Bloomberg]