Yesterday Google started sharing us the upcoming Android Q, with a new beta program for this year’s big Android update. Android Q, will be released for consumers sometime in the third quarter of this year, according to company’s timeline — likely in August, as it’s Google’s usual release month.
The beta itself isn’t something you should install on your own. It maybe buggy, but its purpose is to familiarize developers, on Google’s new plans on the new update. Android Q will provide its users with more privacy and location settings and will be refining many areas of the operating system for a smoother, faster experience.
We can’t yet recommend on downloading the beta on an important device at this early stage, but if you have an older phone lying around or you’re a two-phone user — it can be a lot of fun poking around with Android’s new features.
Take control of your location data
We used to live the life of apps providing the all-or-nothing features inside them to access our location. If approved, they’d be able to access it even if the app was not being used. Google is now changing this with a new option, which lets the user set location privileges for only when an app is in the foreground (Google states that some apps will still be able to access your location even after you hit the home button or turn off the display).
Google is clearly preparing a dark mode for its new update and it’s technically available on the first beta. Although it’s a bit tricky and it doesn’t have a turn on/off switch, you can access it by turning on the battery saver. By doing that, the device turns every white background into black. But battery saver does other things to longer your phone’s battery (cutting off background processes), so this is not a thing to have at all times.
When an app detects that it’s unable to access something it needs — a data connection, Bluetooth, etc. — it can now automatically bring up a menu that asks you to toggle that specific setting on. No trip to the full-blown settings menu required.
Estimated battery life
If you pull down the quick settings menu on Android Q, the battery percentage icon, will automatically change to the estimated time left until your battery reaches zero. This can be changed of course, on how often you use your phone, but it is a considerable add on the update.
Google’s product Sans font
The Pixel’s default font style is now Google’s font Product Sans. This typeface is appearing more and more ad it was already leaked for Android 9 Pi, but now it’s basically everywhere.
More theme customization
If you search developer settings, you’ll be able to change the accent color across the OS ( there are four colors to choose from) and the default font. It is not as customizable as OnePlus is, but it’s good to see Google making progress.
The notch is in screenshots
Google has for some reason added a visual representation of Pixel 3 XL’s notch to screenshots, without any way to disable the option. It is not yet known if Google made this by mistake or intentionally, but hopefully we’ll get to see a disable option soon.
Faster sharing sheet
With Q,Google has gotten rid of the lag that had begun to plague Android’s sharing menu. Now, developers can just specify their preferred sharing methods instead of the system building out a giant list of apps every time you want to transfer something between apps.
Having to access the emergency services at any time with just a tap is always a great idea for a smartphone, so Google has put a new tile on the main power menu that appears when you press and hold the Pixel’s power button.
Share Wi-Fi from QR codes
The first beta of Q has a clever trick that allows you to share a Wi-Fi network’s credentials in the form of a QR code. I guess that beats reading your secure password aloud whenever new people come over — for your tech-savvy friends, at least. They can then scan the QR code to hop onto the Wi-Fi immediately.
What do you think of the best features of the upcoming Android Q? Let us know in the comments below.
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