Android Q first look: New navigation features, dark theme and more

by May 8, 2019 0 comments

Google at its annual I/O conference announced Android Q – the tenth version of Android. The Android Q beta 3 is available starting today on a wider range of devices than any previous Android beta has been available on before.

While the full release of Android Q will be available later this year, Google at the conference showcased a preview of features including dark mode and improved gestures. There is also a new accessibility option called Live Caption that will make content more accessible to more than 466 million deaf and hard of hearing people around the world. With a single tap, Live Caption will automatically caption media that’s playing audio on your phone. Live Caption works with videos, podcasts and audio messages, across any app—even stuff you record yourself. As soon as speech is detected, captions will appear, without ever needing Wifi or cell phone data, and without any audio or captions leaving your phone.

The Smart Reply is now built into the notification system in Android, allowing any messaging app to suggest replies in notifications. Smart Reply will now also intelligently predict your next action—for example, if someone sends you an address, you can just tap to open that address in Maps.

DARK THEME

Activating Dark Theme in Android Q is simple. Just pull down the Quick Settings menu, tap a button, and the interface transforms from white to black. The dark theme is designed to increase battery life. Google announced to release dark themes for all of its first-party Android apps.

Gestural Navigation and the Back Button

The new gesture-based navigation control might look to be the most controversial part of Android 10 Q, namely because, Android Q gestures resemble a lot like iPhones. Secondly, the way Google has decided to implement the back button into a gesture. Let’s take them one by one.

In Android Q, a long, thin white bar sits at the bottom of the screen. Swipe up will take bring you to home screen, swipe up and drag across to go into a multitasking view, swipe across it quickly to switch between apps. And to get to the app drawer, simply swipe up from the home screen.

Users will the new system easy to use, if they are switching from an iPhone Not, but it’s also more consistent than Android 9 Pie.  According to Google, the quality of animations is also improved over Android 9 Pie.

Security and privacy as a central focus

Over the years, Android has built out many industry-first security and privacy protections, like file-based encryption, SSL by default and work profile. Android has the most widely-deployed security and anti-malware service of any operating system today thanks to Google Play Protect, which scans over 50 billion apps every day.

Android Q, comes with almost 50 new features and changes focused on security and privacy. For example, Google has created a dedicated Privacy section under Settings, where you’ll find important controls in one place. Under Settings, you’ll also find a new Location section that gives you more transparency and granular control over the location data you share with apps. You can now choose to share location data with apps only while they’re in use. Plus, you’ll receive reminders when an app has your location in the background, so you can decide whether or not to continue sharing. Android Q also provides protections for other sensitive device information, like serial numbers.

With Android Q, Google will update important OS components in the background, similar to the way it updates apps. This means that you can get the latest security fixes, privacy enhancements and consistency improvements as soon as they’re available, without having to reboot your phone.

Google is announcing that 21 phones will get the Android 10 Q beta ahead of release, from 13 manufacturers (though one of those is Google itself and another is a division of Oppo). Here are the phones that will get the beta, as of right now — Asus Zenfone 5z, Essential PH-1, HMD Global Nokia 8.1, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, LG G8, OnePlus OP 6T, Oppo Reno, Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Realme 3 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ3, Tecno Spark 3 Pro, Vivo X27, NEX S, NEX A, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, Mi 9.

Digital Wellbeing

Google has updated digital wellbeing with new a feature like Focus mode, which is designed to help you focus without distraction. You can select the apps you find distracting—such as email or the news—and silence them until you come out of Focus mode. And to help children and families find a better balance with technology, Google is making Family Link part of every device that has Digital Wellbeing (starting with Android Q), plus adding top-requested features like bonus time and the ability to set app-specific time limits.

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