Google is reportedly redesigning its mobile software for Android in preparation for a new smartphone generation. The redesign is said to be lifting features from Apple, most notably the “notch” that appears as a cut-out at the top of the screen.
This new update which is due later in 2018 will also work to better integrate Google Assistant. It will also make batteries last longer and support new designs that incorporate folding displays or multiple screens.
The Android update is designed to convert iPhone customers by making Google’s product sleeker to use. Android phones make up most of the low-end and middle parts of the smartphone market but IPhone dominates the high end of the market where users spend more on services and apps.
The new update and phone designs may help Android to capture some of the iPhone market by introducing new features that keep up with what Apple is doing. Considering the loyalty of many Apple customers it may require more than this to get a commercial portion of them to convert.
One of Android’s main problems is that many of the devices around the world are continuing to run older versions of the OS. This means that many Android devices are continually exposed to security threats that newer versions have addressed.
Another issue is that because Android can be used on many devices made by third party manufacturers, the harmony between updates and physical phone design will never be totally in sync. Apple carefully controls each of its products to function perfectly with its operating system.
The inclusion of a notch and matching capabilities in new phone designs suggests that Google believes the iPhone X design is very popular. Right now, Essential manufactures the only other handset on the market that features a notch while Chinese manufacturer Huawei is said to be developing a similar design.
This new OS update, dubbed Android P, will place a greater emphasis on Google’s AI assistant. This marks another step taken by Google in the battle of voice assistants between itself, Apple and Amazon.
The update will allow app developers to integrate Google Assistant capabilities into their software. It is reported that Google is also considering an integration of the search bar on the Android home screen with their AI assistant.
This redesign by Google contrasts with Apple’s focus on better internal performance rather than outward appearance for 2018. Each of Google’s Android updates has historically been named after a type of dessert with this one being internally referred to as Pistachio Ice Cream.