According to a report by TechCrunch, a Google engineer apparently confirmed that moving the clock in Android P was for the notch.
The engineer was fielding audience questions at Google I/O 2018’s Android fireside chat session. When asked about the placement, he said that “by moving the clock over, we were able to create a consistent experience across Android devices irrespective of whether they have an unbroken top edge of the display panel.”
In Android Oreo (above), the clock is displayed on the top right corner of the display. In Android P (below), its on the top left. The change balances out the top of the display, leaving the battery and Wi-Fi indicators on the right.
It’s interesting to see how quickly Google has reacted to this new design trend. The notch didn’t exist this time last year. Now, Google’s newest version of Android has adjusted its layout around the notch and added support for manufacturers putting notches in their devices.
All this adds to rumours that the Pixel 3 will have a notch. Google has optimized Android for its Pixel devices in the past. Adding support for this kind of hardware change could hint that Google’s next phone will feature a notch.
Considering Android P allows developers to test for top, bottom and corner notches, maybe the Pixel 3 will have a more peculiar notch than other phones.