The latest and greatest version of Android, simply called Android 10, has officially landed. There was intense speculation over the past few days about the exact date for the official release of Android 10, and while no official confirmation was made by the company, the update is now rolling out. There are significant changes under the hood as well as those that you can see while using Android 10, and these span the whole gamut of new features, improved privacy, faster performance and quicker updates as well. As we speak, Android 10 is rolling out for the Google Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL.
In terms of the big visual changes that you will surely notice with Android 10, Dark Mode is perhaps the most exciting addition. This coat of paint is now Android-wide. There is support for foldable phones as well and apps for these phones can be updated to better utilize the multitasking avenues available to them. You will also notice the Android 10 updates to the notifications which offer smart reply options as well as the ability to interact with default apps—for example, you can open a navigation link in Maps and a web link in Chrome.
Privacy and data security are also in focus. Users now have the option of allowing certain apps to only use the location data when they are being used, and not at all times. Apps can no longer access non-resettable device identifiers that could be used for tracking, including device IMEI, serial number, and similar identifiers. The device's MAC address is also randomized when connected to Wi-Fi networks by default. Android 10 also debuts Adiantum, the new encryption mode.
If you do a lot of smartphone gaming, the adaptive Wi-Fi modes can be enabled for high-performance and low latency.
Performance should also see an improvement, compared with the Android 9 versions. Google says improvements in the ART runtime will mean apps start faster, consume less memory, and run smoother. The ART profiles delivered by Google Play let ART pre-compile parts of an app even before it's run. At runtime, Generational Garbage Collection works more efficiently in terms of time used and CPU resources, which should also mean apps run quicker and better on lower-end Android phones.
For all Pixel phones, the update is now rolling out worldwide. But you may not get the update right away, since the release is sent out in batches. But do keep an eye out for the update notification on your phone. The surprising bit here is the support for the Pixel and the Pixel XL phones for Android 10, even though these phones are outside the official update support window. Good to see that Google hasn’t forgotten those loyal customers who still rock these phones.