Google will release Android P with 'Notch Optimization' for Android smartphones

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Google is working on an overhaul of its Android mobile software for a new generation of smartphones mimicking Apple's controversial new "notch" at the top of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the situation. As per sources, Android P will bring a series of significant changes to the operating system, most of which are created to persuade more iOS users to switch.

Google expects the iPhone X notch design to become more popular in the future across Android, the report notes, which is why Google is making sure Android P will support it.

The same Bloomberg that just spilled the dirt on Apple's software development shakeup happens to have plenty of details on Android P, which is dubbed internally Pistachio Ice Cream. Third-party developers may even be able to integrate Google Assistant into their apps.

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New versions of Android are typically unveiled at Google I/O in autumn, before getting a full release in early spring. One of the few setbacks of many Android devices is that they don't look as good as their Apple counterparts, and a notch, coupled with a bezel-less display will go a long way in changing that. Google's own Pixel phone already has some AR goodies built into the camera with Star Wars stickers and Lens. Apple's iPhone X made such a notch famous, propelling Apple to record profits in the final quarter of 2017, though the first major smartphone to sport a camera notch is Andy Rubin's Essential Phone.

The iPhone X has a similar issue in that not all apps are optimized to wrap around its top notch. A good redesign could help Android phones stand out this year. At the same time, the next version of Android will reportedly play nice with various form factors, such as devices with foldable displays or multiple displays.

Fragmentation of Android updates isn't that big a deal as many devices were optimized with their release version. However, we may not see these changes this year as they haven't been finalised yet. The report indicates that Google is putting more of a concerted effort into swaying Apple customers over to the Android ecosystem, and not simply by updating the software.

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