Next Android Overhaul Is Said to Embrace iPhone Notch
Google is working on an overhaul of its Android mobile software for a new generation of smartphones mimicking Apple’s controversial new "notch" at the top of the iPhone X, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Android update, due later in the year, will also more tightly integrate Google’s digital assistant, improve battery life on phones and support new designs, like multiple screens and foldable displays, the people added. A key goal of this year’s update is to persuade more iPhone users to switch to Android devices by improving the look of the software.
What’s unlikely to change much is Android’s nagging problem: Most of the billion-plus Android devices globally run outdated versions of the operating system, exposing security holes and holding back Google’s newest mobile innovations. Building notch capabilities into Android suggests Google expects the iPhone X look to catch on more broadly. Currently, a smartphone from Essential, run by Android’s former boss Andy Rubin, is the only other major handset on the market with the feature. Huawei is working on a similar model.
The operating system refresh, Android P, will emphasize Google’s Assistant, a digital helper that competes with Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Developers will be able to integrate Google’s voice-based technology inside of their apps. The company has also weighed integrating the search bar on the Android home screen with its assistant, although neither of these changes are finalized for introduction this year, according to one of the people familiar with the situation.