Google has released Android P Developer Preview 4, a little later than it was previously expected. The update is available for both the first as well as second generation Pixel smartphones. Google has put out the update as both a system image as well as an OTA file.
The fourth Android P Developer Preview will serve as penultimate beta release ahead of the final roll out in the third quarter of this year. You can install the factory images on a Pixel with an unlocked bootloader and it does not matter whether you have previously installed the developer preview. However, if you have a Pixel device running the Developer Preview 3 then you can get OTA files which will upgrade your device to the latest build and it does not require an unlocked bootloader.
If you are enrolled on Google’s Android beta program with an eligible Pixel smartphone then you will get an update notification in the coming days. The release notes for Android P Developer Preview 4, also referred to as public beta 3 notes that there could be battery and stability issues. As always, it is recommended that you do not install the update on your primary device.
In terms of enhancements, Google is revising the design of gesture navigation button. The fourth iteration of developer preview brings a new back button with Google replacing the triangle with what looks like a left arrow. The home/recents button has also received a slight change and it now looks a bit darker.
The gesture navigation is also redesigned with a stretched slider that now fills the entire width of your screen and allowing app previews to be a lot bigger. While the Developer Preview 3 had a pill along the actual slider, it has been dropped with the new version of developer preview. The sliding mechanism is now more akin to what you find on Apple iPhone X.
Watch: How to install Android P beta on non-Pixel phones
Android Police notes that the sliding area for switching between apps fills the entire bottom of the screen and provides 6 haptic stops where app previews are cycles. With the new gesture-based navigation system, Google is preparing Android for the future of all-screen smartphones. The gesture system is not really intuitive but Google seems to be improving it with every beta release.
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