Google has already started working on Android P. Android P will feature integration with Android Things.
Android Things, previously known as Brillo, is Google’s upcoming Android-based solution for embedded systems. Intended as an OS for the Internet of Things, it’s designed to be compatible with relatively lightweight systems (as low as 32MB of RAM). The OS is still in its early stages so don’t expect to see many Android Things devices commercially available this year, but Google is clearly working on tuning up the OS in the upcoming months. One such tweak is Chromecast integration, set to be rolled out with the release of Android Things based on Android P (9.0).
You might be wondering why Google is still releasing new versions when so many devices are still using Marshmallow and Lollipop. The first thing to bear in mind is simply that most manufacturers place their own version of the operating system on devices by modifying the version provided by Google, so when Google offers a new version, it has to invest a lot of resources in it. The second point is that less geeky users (a significant amount of people on the whole) don’t really care about the Android version on their phones and are just looking for a system that works.
The software giant recently started rolling out the final build of Android 8.0 Oreo, so the arrival of Android P is months away. Google is likely to announce Android P at the company’s annual I/O event, which happens every year in the month of May. However, the final build of Android P won’t come to the existing Nokia-branded smartphone before October or November of next year.
Google has also started working on Android P (Android 9.0) in the AOSP Master Branch Android Open Source Project called “master-p” that indicates that commits made to the AOSP master branch will show up in Android P (presumably Android 9.0).