Android Q Beta 1 released for all Pixel phones; New features revealed

Isaac Cain
March 14, 2019

Now that the first Android Q beta has been released for all Google Pixel smartphones and the Android Studio emulator, it's possible to try it out. Dave Burke, Google's VP of Engineering, has just taken to the Android Developers Blog to introduce Android Q Beta 1 to the world.

Android Q's largest feature is foldable support.

To get your hands on it, simply head on over to Google's Android Beta Program page and enroll your Pixel Device to receive an over-the-air update - even the original Pixel and Pixel XL are still supported. As part of its work in Project Strobe, Google is adding a number of new privacy and security features to Android Q. These include more control over when apps can get your location information, more control over apps' ability to access private data like photos and videos, and a new blocker on apps launching foreground activities from a background task (which often interrupts what you're now doing in another app). Right now, when you grant an app location access, there is no quick on/off toggle for when the app isn't being used. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options. There are also system images and OTA files available for sideloading.

Android Q lets developer control how their apps behave on foldable screens. Developers can use Dynamic Depth data to create 3D images and AR photography.

You can use floating display windows to adjust settings while in an app. Developers can choose which settings to feature.

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"Sharing Shortcuts" in Android Q also makes it easier to share content like a photo withs someone in another app. There's no telling what apps or services will break due to changes made throughout the beta process. Additionally, a new Settings Panel function can be brought up to show certain settings that may be needed by a specific app (e.g., the Settings Pannel for Chrome could show settings for Wi-Fi, mobile data, and airplane mode).

Developers will be able to publish targets in the Sharing Shortcuts interface in advance, which allows them to load instantly when launched by a user. There will also be a high performance, low latency mode for Wi-Fi which could prove handy for real-time gaming, active voice calls, and the likes.

Android Q is a beta and as such, it's likely buggy.

Google will be releasing six beta editions of Android Q. The first one will come in March and the second one will be arriving in April.

Now for the important question...

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