Google has already started developing Android P which may be called Android 9.0, as suggested by the Master Branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) which already contains some references to the upcoming iteration of the company’s ubiquitous operating system which will presumably be introduced in 2018. A tag called “master-p” appeared in the AOSP repository on Tuesday, revealing that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant already started testing Android 9.0 P on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL which are still referred by their codenames “sailfish” and “marlin.” The platform version “PPR1” that Googlers are referencing in the repository corresponds to the new three-part Android build name format which the company introduced with Android 8.0 Oreo and is expected to use for the foreseeable future.
Apart from the two commits confirming that the 2018 Android version will bear a name starting with the letter “P,” another commit contains a correspondence between two Googlers which discuss a CTS testing change, with one of them saying how they are “not sure if OMR1 is needed” after they have copied some code from Google’s internal repository to the Android P branch of the AOSP one, suggesting that Google may not be planning to release a maintenance update for Android Oreo like it did with Android Nougat, meaning that Android 8.1 Oreo may never happen. The company already skipped such a maintenance release with Android 6.0 Marshmallow seeing there’s no such thing as Android 6.1, though this particular OS build still had several release branches, meaning that Android Oreo may still get its maintenance update.
Google launched the latest stable version of its mobile operating system earlier this month, officially revealing Android 8.0 Oreo for the Pixel, Pixel XL, and compatible Nexus devices. The new OS build introduces a wide variety of additions ranging from improved notification management and multitasking capabilities to more options for managing background app activities and a broad range of performance and stability enhancements. Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, and Essential have already pledged to support Android 8.0 Oreo by distributing it to their existing devices and launching new offerings which will run the new mobile OS out of the box, and Google itself is expected to soon introduce the Pixel 2 smartphone series which should also ship with Android Oreo.