Android Q is the tenth version of the Android Operating System which has been officially introduced as Google goes live with beta registration page today. Google has released Android Q Beta 1 for early adopters and a preview SDK for developers. As of now, the beta is only available for the Pixel smartphone owners. All they have to do is enroll their device from here(including the original Pixel and Pixel XL). This is strictly a developer-only preview and buggy for the same reason, which is something our readers should note. So, ordinary android users are not advised to install it.
Every year, Google introduces a new version of its Android OS with some important changes to structural performance as well as visual aesthetics. This year, Google has optimized Android Q catering to advancements like foldable screens, 5G, Wifi 6 as well as bring about new privacy and security features for users.
Having cleared that, let’s see what’s all new in Android Q brings that could enhance user experience within the Android ecosystem.
What’s new in Android Q? Android Q features and highlights:
- Android Q enables a user to give apps permission to see their location never, only when the app is in use (running), or all the time (when in the background).
- Users will be able to control apps’ access to the Photos and Videos or the Audio collections via new runtime permissions. For example, when you press Downloads, apps must use the system file picker, which allows the user to decide which Download files the app can access.
- Even the inclusion of an undo feature with the Pixel launcher would prove convenient at times. Now if you accidentally delete any icons or widgets from the homescreen., they could be recovered by tapping the undo option, hovering below.
- Tap the battery saver mode and behold the Dark mode. Neat and long-awaited feature indeed!
- To reduce unexpected incoming calls, alarms or any background apps interrupting your experience, Android Q will prevent apps from launching an Activity while in the background. However, you could set important apps with high-priority notification and provide a full-screen intent.
- There is an option to toggle the accent color, icon shape, and fonts from straight within the Developer Options.
- Another nifty change is that the package installer hovers in a small size unlike the full-screen implementation in the previous Android versions.
- For foldable devices, some changes are brought to support multi-resume, notify your app when it has focus, resizable activities, etc for a smooth experience.
- A desktop mode wherein you could mirror your phone to the PC screen. It is available within the developer settings by the name, “Force Desktop Mode“.
- A native screen recorder which is still barebones but functional, to say the least.
- Sharing Shortcuts is a revamped share menu that let users jump directly into another app to share content quickly and easily. And speaking of sharing menu, it is way snappier than before with a clipboard snippet atop the sharing panel.
- Now, users can access a floating Settings Panel to access required settings such as internet connectivity, NFC, and audio volume, straight within the app they are currently using. No need to leave the app like for instance browser to change WiFi settings.
- Random MAC address feature lets you guise your identity for better security.
- Newer connectivity options (adaptive WiFi, location, etc), support for updated standards and their permissions are streamlined to improve faster, intuitive and secure connections.
- Easy Connect feature lets you share your Wi-Fi connection via a QR code or connect to one via the same right from the Wi-Fi settings pane.
- Dynamic Depth is a format for photos that offers specialized blurs and bokeh options in your app. You can even use the data to create 3D images or support AR photography use-cases in the future.
- Android Q introduces support for audio-video codecs like AV1, Opus, HDR10+ thus increasing the range of content we could now consume.
- In Android Q, there’s experimental support for ANGLE on top of Vulkan on Android devices. This would enrich your gaming experience on the Android platform.
- You could also expect a uniform high-performance graphics for apps and games. Vulkan 1.1 would be made as a requirement on all 64-bit devices running Android Q and higher, and a recommendation for all 32-bit devices.
- Android Q augments the support for Artificial Intelligence with the release of Neural Networks API 1.2
- More foundational changes to several under-the-hood things to improve the biometric security, performance and ensuring a quicker transition for apps to Android Q.
How to Install Android Q?
- First of all backup your device data and do it at your own risk.
- You can enroll here to get Android Q Beta updates over-the-air, on any Pixel device (Pixel 3, Pixel 2, and the original Pixel).
- Downloadable system images for those devices are also available. If you don’t have a Pixel device, you can use the Android Emulator, and download the latest emulator system images via the SDK Manager in Android Studio.
You could test it out and send your feedback on Android Q by visiting this link. And if you come across some errors or bugs, drop the information here. There are separate hotlists for filing platform issues, app compatibility issues, and third-party SDK issues too.
Again, we advise only developers with sound knowledge to try it out.