Google is working on Android P already! And even though we're all still getting to know Oreo, it's looking very exciting. According to the latest news, Android P is going to be right at home in the Internet of Things.
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This comes as no surprise to be honest. An operating system is not going to be created in a week and even with its significant workforce, Google still has to move ahead too. This latest news was relayed to us by XDA, who discovered a new tag in AOSP that shows that Google is now testing Android P on the Pixel and Pixel XL. Obviously, this is not intended for users or even beta users yet, just for the Google team.
Android Things, previously known as Brillo, is Google's upcoming Android-based solution for embedded systems. Intended as an OS for the Internet of Things, it's designed to be compatible with relatively lightweight systems (as low as 32MB of RAM). The OS is still in its early stages so don't expect to see many Android Things devices commercially available this year, but Google is clearly working on tuning up the OS in the upcoming months. One such tweak is Chromecast integration, set to be rolled out with the release of Android Things based on Android P (9.0).
Our colleagues at XDA discovered a new volume control API on the Chromium Gerrit that enables the user to synchronize the volume level between Android Things and Chromecast devices. Although a small change, it's a clear indication that Google is working to better integrate Android Things with Chromecast.
Since Android Things ultimately aims to integrate Android with every device in your household, we can expect to see more tweaks and changes aimed to integrate Android Things into the wider Google ecosystem as time goes on.
Why Android P already?
You might be wondering why Google is still releasing new versions when so many devices are still using Marshmallow and Lollipop. The first thing to bear in mind is simply that most manufacturers place their own version of the operating system on devices by modifying the version provided by Google, so when Google offers a new version, it has to invest a lot of resources in it. The second point is that less geeky users (a significant amount of people on the whole) don't really care about the Android version on their phones and are just looking for a system that works.
Manufacturers are therefore wondering whether it's worth making his effort. Google doesn't need to worry about this though and continues on its momentum, no matter how many users plan to use its newer versions.
What do you think? Should Google continue to launch a new operating system each year? Or should it force manufacturers to update their devices? Share your thoughts in the comments below!