Android P, the next generation of Google’s operating system, may not be due for release until sometime later this year – but that doesn’t mean we don’t already know some of the features it has in store for us.

That’s because the Android P is now available as a developer preview. That means this first preview of Android P is intended for developers only, not for regular consumers. It’s very much a precursor to an official public beta and ultimate rollout of the real thing to the wider world later in 2018.

As you would expect, a new version of the Android operating system will see a host of new features – but we’re most interested in are improvements to users’ security and privacy.

Security and privacy are important issues for the Android operating system, for the simple reason that they are key motivations for many users and companies to purchase iOS devices instead.

So, let’s take a quick look at the new security and privacy features that Android P includes:

A standard system dialog for requesting fingerprint authentication

Android P promises to deliver a standardised look, feel, and placement for the dialog that requests a fingerprint, increasing user confidence that they are interacting with a trusted fingerprint checker. App developers can trigger the new system fingerprint dialog using a new API, and are recommended to switch over to the new system dialog as soon as possible.

Cleartext is dead. Long live encryption

Everyone who cares about privacy agrees that unencrypted internet communications are a bad idea, so Android P sees Google pushing hard for apps to move their network traffic away from unencrypted HTTP to HTTPS.

As I’ve explained in the past, it’s easy to focus on the respective strengths and weaknesses of the iOS and Android operating (Read more...)