Android Q, the yet to be named operating system version for 2019, is rolling out to select users who’ve signed up for the beta program.
This version is mostly there for developers to get a quick look at the upcoming Android version and what new features it offers. For now the Android Q version is compatible with all Pixel series of devices from Pixel to the Pixel 3.
We’ve heard a lot about what Android Q could offer, but here’s a closer look at what it improves on from Android Pie. Also, wondering how to sign up for the Android Q beta program? Here’s everything you need to know.
How to Join Android Beta Program
The beta program web page is now live and available to users who’ve got Pixel, Pixel 2 or Pixel 3 range of devices. They can head over to this page, and view their eligible devices and select either of the Pixel phones to get started.
Google says that users who enrolled for the Android P beta program will have to enroll again. Previous enrollment does not carry over to Android Q, the post clarifies
Once you do that, in less than 10 minutes, you’re device will get an over the air (OTA) software update, which will look something like this.
Note: Beta versions are highly unstable, and users are advised not to install it on their primary device, which could affect the performance of various apps.
Phones Supporting Android Q Beta
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
Beyond Google’s Pixel phones, various brands like OnePlus, Nokia and Xiaomi, part of the Android One program could get hold of Android Q beta version in the coming weeks.
With the Google I/O developer conference slated to take place in May this year, expect more features to trickle down to the beta version in the coming weeks. Speaking of features, here’s what’s new.
What’s New With Android Q
It doesn’t have dark mode support yet, but Android Q seems to vouch for foldable screen devices like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. In addition to that, Android Q focuses on improved security features, which includes the native biometric identification options like fingerprint and face recognition.
Ever since the data breach on Google Plus was first reported, people have been alarmed with how much of their data is made available to third-party apps.
In addition to knowing what all sensors and units (like microphone, storage) are being used, Android Q running phones will also tell users which apps are reading their location with a pop up dialog box like this. You can limit the number of times, the app wants access to a person’s location.
Location is part of the app permission list, even for those who don’t really need it. And with this update, users will surely benefit.
Android Q also helps in faster start up time of apps like YouTube and Google Maps. The post doesn’t clarify if the improvements are only limited to Google apps, but we’re hoping that third-party apps also benefit from the changes in Android Q.
Then you have the option to share documents, images and contacts even quicker.
"In Android Q we’re making this quicker and easier with Sharing Shortcuts, which let users jump directly into another app to share content. Developers can publish share targets that launch a specific activity in their apps with content attached, and these are shown to users in the share UI." - Android Beta
Other than these, you’ll get new audio, image and camera settings. The Wi-Fi standards will also see an upgrade, and last but not the least, the battery indicator on Android Q will show you percentage and along with that, how much time will the phone last.
This shows up in the notification bar at the top, as seen here.
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