How to Get the Best Android P Features on Any Android Phone Right Now

The Android P developer preview was released a bit ago and while at the moment it’s only available for Nexus and Pixel devices (you can see how to install the preview for those devices in my video here), some developers have managed to grab some of the more interesting features from Android P and create APKs, or installable app files, from them.

These can be easily installed to get these Android P features on any Android phone without the need for rooting the device and they can, of course, be easily uninstalled if you no longer want them.

If you want to have some of these features without having to wait for Android P (I still think it’s going to be Peppermint, for the record) here’s how to get some of the best features from Android P right now.

Allow the Installation of APKs from Unknown Sources

First, we need to enable the ability to install APK files that aren’t directly from the Play Store.

Android Nougat and Older

To do that on any device that isn’t on Android Oreo, follow this:

Head to Settings > Security > Allow Unknown Sources > and turn it on.

Android Oreo

If you’re on Android Oreo, things have changed slightly. We have to give a specific app permission to install APK files and then use that app. But we’ll do that as it asks us to.

Android P Launcher

Android P Launcher

 

Now, the biggest thing you can do to change your experience on your Android device is to change the Android launcher you have on it. In this case, we’re going to install the Android P Pixel Launcher using an APK file. Now, you could also just use Nova Launcher and customize it to look like this, I imagine (more info on that here), but this is the launcher that would give you the purest Android P experience.

First, download the Android P launcher from XDA here by opening this link on your phone so it downloads directly to it.

Download Android P Launcher

Once downloaded on the phone, tap it in the notification shade and tap install.

Open Android P Launcher

Tap the home button and when asked, tap the Android P launcher and select Always to make it your new default launcher.

Set Android P Launcher Home

Smart Reply

Smart Reply in Notifications

One of the cooler features in Android P, in my opinion, is the ability to quickly reply to messages from the notification shade using smart suggested replies (similar to what you get in Inbox and Gmail for emails). Google actually released this feature a while ago but has integrated it into Android P natively. You can get it though for any Android device by using the Google APK file. Here’s how.

Download the APK for Smart Replies here by opening this link on your phone so it downloads directly to it.

Smart Reply Link on My Site

Once downloaded on the phone, tap it in the notification shade and tap install.

Download Smart Reply

Now, so long as you are using the various messaging apps that were shown in the app setup process, you’ll be able to use the smart replies.

Smart Reply in Notifications

Android P Volume Slider

Volume on Side

One of the subtle changes in Android P that people are excited about is the moving of the volume slider from the top of the device, to the side. It might not seem like much, but people on the web are seriously jazzed about it. If you’re one of these people, there’s a pretty easy way to not only get the side volume slider but also customize it thanks to a developer over on XDA.

Download the Android P Volume Slider APK here by opening this link on your phone, tapping on releases at the top right and tapping download.

Link to Volume Slider on My Site

Once downloaded on the phone, tap it in the notification shade to install it.

Install Volume Slider

Open the app, enable the permissions it needs and then you can use the app to customize the slider to your heart’s content.

Give Volume Slider Permissions

Screenshot Markup

Using Markup

Another small change that is a pretty welcomed thing for most, is the ability to markup screenshots immediately after taking them (something that other manufacturers have added but is missing from stock Android).

Someone on XDA made a copy of this as an APK file that you just have to share the screenshot to once it’s taken (an extra step, but whatever) and then can be edited before sharing it to wherever you need after that.

Download the Markup APK file by clicking this link on your phone.

Share Screenshot to Markup

Once downloaded on the phone, tap it in the notification shade to install it.

Install Markup

That’s it. Now when you take a screenshot, just tap share and share it to Markup. Then you can edit it from there and then export to share it elsewhere.

Using Markup

Lockdown Mode

Lockdown Working

This is a feature I first saw in iOS 11 that thought was a good idea with all the new biometric security and the scares that someone could force you to look at your device or touch the fingerprint sensor to open it. On iOS it’s part of the panic mode, but in Android P it’s called lockdown mode and is activated by tapping the power button and then tapping lockdown.

Since we can’t alter that very well without rooting Android, there is an alternative using an app, aptly called lockdown mode, to do it in an albeit less convenient way.

Download the Lockdown Mode APK file onto your phone.

Download Lockdown

Tap the notification that it was downloaded to install it.

Download Lockdown

 

Once installed, you can enable it by opening the app from the app drawer (again, not as convenient but still helpful in a pinch, I guess).

Conclusion

There you go, guys. Let me know if these helped you or if you have any other ways to get other features from Android P in the comments.

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