Google Android 9.0 P preview: Everything we know so far

Android Pez? Pie? Popsicle? Whatever it's called, it's coming soon
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Android runs on the vast majority of smartphones the world over, so it's no surprise that Google keeps the massively-popular mobile operating system in tip-top shape.

Granted, it can take a long while for latest versions to hit your own handset, if at all, but at least progress is being made for some devices, right? And it sounds like the next version could be right around the corner: leaked information for Android 9.0 P just hit the internet.

Which whimsical dessert-themed name will Google settle on this time, and when can we expect it to release? More importantly, what new features will Google pack into Android 9.0? Here's everything we know so far.

What will Android P be called?

Google's had a sweet tooth for some time now, and every major Android version has come with its own dessert-centric title. We're coming off a string of names including Oreo, Nougat, Marshmallow, Lollipop, and so on and so forth.

So what about Android P? Well, we just don't know yet. And even if we had a hint, Google has occasionally tried to throw people off the real scent in the past. But it'll be something starting with "P," which yields quite a few solid options. Bloomberg reports that Google is calling it "Pistachio Ice Cream" internally, but that the internal codenames typically don't make it to market. That's a bit of a mouthful, admittedly.

Honestly, we think Android 9.0 Popsicle sounds like a fine result, but they could also go with pie, parfait, praline, or panna cotta. And given past licensed names like Oreo and KitKat, maybe Android Pez could be an option too.

When will Android P be released?

Last year, Android 8.0 Oreo appeared much sooner than anyone anticipated, with a beta version launching in March ahead of a full release in August. That was months earlier than previous versions, and it showed Google trying to get new OS versions into the hands of developers and testers as early as possible.

Will we see the same thing again with Android 9.0? Given the appearance of leaks, we wouldn't be surprised to see another beta announcement pop up here in the next couple months.

Of course, a new Android version releasing is very different from the new Android being made available for your device through the proper channels. Smartphone makers are still terribly slow at supporting new OS versions, with Android Oreo only running on 1.1% of Android devices today (as of this writing).

Even if you have a brand new phone, it could be months after the official release before you see Android 9.0 available as an over-the-air update. Luckily, Google's own Pixel devices (Pixel 2 XL shown) get first dibs on pure Android updates.

What features will Android P have?

Bloomberg's report claims that Android P will see a visual revamp, with new icons and design tweaks to put it closer to iOS devices. It's not much more specific than that, unfortunately, but the report calls it a "dramatic redesign." Comparatively, iOS 11 isn't expected to bring about very significant feature or design shifts.

Furthermore, the site claims that Android 9.0 will bring native support for devices with an iPhone X-like notch at the top, like the Essential Phone (shown). Rumours and leaks suggest that upcoming phones like the Huawei P20 Plus and Lenovo Moto X5 may both take on similar designs, as well. And Android P will also support upcoming form factors like foldable or dual-screened smartphones.

Google Assistant should also gain a larger spotlight in Android P, as Bloomberg suggests that it will feature more prominently in the OS and that developers will be able to integrate it within apps. The home screen search bar may also be integrated with Google Assistant in some manner.