Every year Google updates its Android operating system and promotes its new Google Pixel phones with it. This year, we expect Android Q to fully launch in October.
For some devices, like Pixel range, you will receive the update immediately. Some other devices will receive it a little later. Let’s take a look at all the major Android Q features that you can expect to be able to access when they arrive on your device.
And remember, like previous major Android OS updates, you can download the Android Q beta right now. I will explain this later. Let’s take a look at the exciting new changes first.
Best Active Edge Control
This will only affect Google Pixel owners, but it’s a very worthwhile change. Have you ever accidentally opened your assistant or switched your phone to silent mode by gripping the phone too hard? This is because Active Edge is configured on your phone to perform tasks when you squeeze your sides.
The problem is that in the current version of Android it can be difficult to get the correct compression sensitivity. Many people, myself included, most often accidentally activate this feature. Android Q will play a new animation when pressed to help you figure out if you need to increase or decrease the sensitivity.
Android follows Apple by removing the Back and Home buttons
Android will try to push users to remove the back button in Android Q in favor of a new gesture-based control system. If you think about it, this is a reasonable change. Smartphones have the main screen-to-body ratio, and at the bottom, the large on-screen navigation bar is a ruin that is experiencing.
So, in Android Q, you can hide the gesture bar. You can swipe up to get home, swipe and hold to multitask, and swipe left to right to go back.
Dark Mode, Dark Mode Everywhere
Google has finally implemented a system-wide dark mode to reduce eye strain. It’s official. This means you no longer need to download third-party apps, add dark mode settings to each individual app, and squint your eyes whenever you have to enter an app without dark mode support.
To begin with, these changes will only affect the Android system and UI, but a new API is being introduced to make it easier for developers to create their own dark modes, so expect most apps to adopt it very soon after Android. Release Q.
New Live Caption for any media
The new Live Caption feature in Android Q is the result of one of the many capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is how it works. If you have any media files on your phone, whether from local storage or from videos on the Internet, Live Caption will add real-time captions. It’s a bit like YouTube automatic subtitles. So, expect the experience to be accurate in most cases, but there may be some inconsistencies here and there.
In any case, this is a very magical feature for the hearing impaired and can be used even offline. All transcriptions are created and displayed locally without the help of the Internet.
New UI highlight color options
A small but noticeable change in Android Q allows you to change the accent color for all UI icons in Android. For example, when you turn off and on options like Wi-Fi in the notification bar.
Color options are limited, but there are plenty to choose from, and Google may add more over time. For now, just being able to choose from the available colors is a great way to add a little bit of distinction to your interface.
New app permission changes
To give users even more control over their apps, Google is introducing new system-wide app permissions changes in Android Q. Essentially, you’ll have the option to allow apps to use permissions only once upon request, rather than always having access to them.
And you’ll have more control over granting app permissions to specific files on your phone, instead of granting access to all of them. This is a very nice privacy and security change and should make it difficult for apps to simply get your location, your data, or your browsing history without your explicit permission.
How to download Android Q Beta
Although Android Q won’t be out until October 2019, if you have a Google Pixel device, you can download the Android Q beta now. Please understand that it is intended for developers and if you download it you may run into bugs and issues. I would suggest having a backup device in case something goes wrong.
To get the Android Q beta, follow these steps on your phone.
- Visit developer.android.com/preview/get.
- Click Get Android Q Beta Wirelessly on your Google Pixel device.
- Scroll to the desired devices and click Enable.
- Your device will now be registered.
- Wait a while and go to Settings> System> Advanced> System Updates.
- Click to install the update
That’s all! The update is over 1GB in size, so make sure your phone is connected to a network and Wi-Fi is turned on.
This brings us to the end of our roundup of the main Android Q features to look forward to. Of course, there are still many more possibilities to discover, but this list highlights some of the best we currently know of. Do you have questions about Android Q or want to know more about Beta access? Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to help you as soon as I can.