Android Q is the latest upcoming software update for Google’s mobile OS. Even though it seems like Pie was just released yesterday, yet, we already have an upgrade for it.
Google has officially released the first Android Q beta for developers. However, only for Google Pixel phones (as in, all generations of Pixel device, ranging from Pixel and Pixel XL). The full release may happen in early August if they follow precedent.
Android Q Overview
Even though the Android 9 pie which was launch last August is still very much in use by most new smartphones, the android Q is something to anticipate.
The upcoming version of the mobile operating system will probably be known as Android 10, following the numerical progression of google.
Although, we have absolutely no idea what Q will be called, we do have an idea of what it may offer. This is thanks to the first Android Q beta, and the number of rumors and leaks that we’ve seen.
Android 10 Q brings a number of new feature additions including a system-wide dark mode and a revamp in permission management.
Android Q features
Here are features that Google confirmed in its Android XDA Developers Blog post.
One of the major addition to technology feature this year 2019 is the support for Foldable screen. Google optimized Android Q with foldable-specific features and experiences to ensure the experience of these new devices
According to Google:
To help your apps to take advantage of these and other large-screen devices, we’ve made a number of improvements in Android Q. This includes changes to onResume and onPause to support multi-resume and notify your app when it has focus. We’ve also changed how the resizeableActivity manifest attribute works, to help you manage how your app is displayed on foldable and large screens.
These changes are obviously meant for developers, but in the end, it should result in Android Q being optimized correctly for foldables of all shapes and sizes.
Android Q Privacy Protections
The newly launched Android Q beta lays heavy emphasis on boosting privacy in Android Q.
Google is implementing some new features for app permissions to help give a better understanding and more control over what exactly apps on your phone have access to.
In Android Q, the OS gives users even more control over apps, controlling access to shared files. Users will be able to control apps’ access to the Photos and Videos or the Audio collections via new runtime permissions. For Downloads, apps must use the system file picker, which allows the user to decide which Download files the app can access.
Users will have more control over app access to location info, shared files and repositories like Photos and Videos. Likewise, instead of apps automatically switching focus when they have an Activity in the background (like an alarm or call), appmakers and opt to send high-priority notifications first.
The “Permissions usage” page in Settings has been completely overhauled to show which permissions are being used by how many of your apps, the ability to filter by permissions to see which apps are using certain ones, and a new UI for the “App info” page.
With the latest Android Q, the OS helps users have more control over when apps can get location. As in prior versions of the OS, apps can only get location once the app has asked you for permission, and you have granted it.
One thing that’s particularly sensitive is apps’ access to location while the app is not in use (in the background). It enables users to give apps permission to see their location. This feature is not only when the app is in use (running), or all the time (when in the background). Android Q now offers this greater level of control.
An improved share menu
Android’s share menu has been a hot mess for a while now. Android Q introduces something called “Sharing Shortcuts.”
A Sharing Shortcut allows developers to create a new option in Developer tools. The share menu that will share a file/photo/etc. in a specific part of another app much faster than before.
Wide dark mode
One of the most heavily-requested features for Android has always been a system-wide dark theme. Each past Android release has been rumored to bring the long-awaited feature, but to be met with disappointment. However, Android Q brings certainty of the theme.
Thanks to Android Q developers will be able to show contextually-important system settings within their apps. So instead of having to navigate to quick Settings to switch on Airplane Mode or toggle Wi-Fi or Mobile Data on/off, say, you’ll be able to do that right within your mobile browser.
There are also tweaks to connectivity, including ‘adaptive Wi-Fi’ that enables high performance/low latency modes. This feature would be useful for things like online gaming or voice calls.
Camera, media, graphics
Many cameras on mobile devices can simulate narrow depth of field by blurring the foreground or background relative to the subject. They capture depth metadata for various points in the image and apply a static blur to the image, after which they discard the depth metadata.
Starting in Android Q, apps can request a Dynamic Depth image. This consists of a JPEG, XMP metadata related to depth related elements, and a depth and confidence map embedded in the same file on devices that advertise support.
Requesting a JPEG + Dynamic Depth data image makes it possible for you to offer 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.
This version of Android also introduces support for the open source video codec AV1. This allows media providers to stream high quality video content to Android devices using less bandwidth. In addition, Android Q supports audio encoding using Opus, a codec optimized for speech and music streaming, and HDR10+ for high dynamic range video on devices that support it.
That’s all we’ve seen for now, but new details will surely come up in the coming beta versions, at Google IO 2019 in May and from any leaks in between. We’ll be sure to update this article as we find out more about the upcoming Android Q.