Google has rolled out the first public Android Q beta for all the Pixel smartphones including the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL. The new version which is expected to get a final build and release around August, can be installed manually or enrolling in the beta and receiving the update over the air.
Now since it is an early build, the new Android 10 beta update brings only a few number of features. These additions include a system-wide dark mode, support for foldable devices and more. Let’s check out some them…
System-wide Dark Mode
We have been anticipating this feature for a while now and finally Google has delivered. Android Q will be coming with a system-wide dark mode which is going to work great when you are using your smartphone in the night, and additionally saving battery life. Surprisingly the feature is said to be missing in the beta update. According to XDA Developers, some people who have updated to Android Q have the ability to enable it, while others updated without any way to enable it in Settings. The most likely explanation for not enabling it yet is that it’s still in development. Hopefully, it will be enabled in a future beta.
Everyday there is some or the other concern about data privacy, especially on a device that technically holds your entire life. One of the key updates for Android Q will be tightening the leash around security. For starters, the first beta gives users to give permissions to a certain app only when they are in use. For instance, when an app asks for your location, there will be a new option for “Allow only while the app is in use.”
Android Q will also place restrictions on when apps can start activities. According to Google’s Android developer page, this change will help to minimize interruptions for the user and keep them more in control of what's shown on their screen. The beta also brings limited access to device identifiers such as IMEI and serial number while MAC addresses will be random when connected to different Wi-Fi networks by default.
Foldable Device Support
With Samsung and Huawei showing off their folding phones, it wasn’t long before Google would officially bring support for folding phones. Android Q will include support for the new and upcoming foldable phone form factor. Functions like onResume and onPause support multi-resume and notify an app when it has focus. Even the resizing manifest has been updated so that developers can manage how apps are displayed on foldable and large screens.
There is going to be a new change in the Settings which will make it possible to show important system settings directly inside an app. These new Settings Panels will have a floating UI that can be invoked from an app to show system settings and toggles. This takes advantage of the Slices feature that was included in Android Pie. In short, you won’t have to open the Settings to say configure your network, an overlay will be produced right on top of the app that invoked the network options.
A new update for the share menu is also in place. Android Q is going to make sharing easier with Sharing Shortcuts. Through this, users can directly jump into another app to share content. It should work similarly to App Shortcuts, even pre-Android Q devices will be able to use the functionality in Direct Share. This update could finally improve and fix the sluggish Android share menu.
Now some of you may not know, but the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 are dual-SIM devices. You can’t use two physical SIM cards, but you can use a secondary eSIM. While this feature is not enabled for Indian users, there is a possibility that it will finally be made available probably in the next Pixel 4. Android Q finally enables the ability to have Dual SIM, Dual Standby support.
Until now, you couldn’t use both the physical SIM network and eSIM network at the same time. At least one had to be disabled, but with Android Q things will change as you could now use both SIM at the same time. We have our fingers crossed in a hope that Google enables this feature for the existing Pixel devices globally, including India.