Google Android Q Beta released for Pixel phones

by March 14, 2019 0 comments

Google has released the Android Q Beta on Pixel phones with a focus on developer tools as well as compatibility features for foldable phones.

In 2019, mobile innovation emerged stronger than ever, with new technologies from 5G to edge to edge displays and even foldable screens. And since Android drives majority of OEMs and partners across billions of devices, the company with the Android Q Beta aims to push the boundaries of hardware and software bringing new experiences and capabilities to users.

Building on top of efforts like Google Play Protect and runtime permissions, Android Q brings a number of additional privacy and security features for users, as well as enhancements for foldables, new APIs for connectivity, new media codecs and camera capabilities, NNAPI extensions, Vulkan 1.1 support, faster app startup, and more.

With Android Q, the OS helps users have more control over when apps can get location. As in prior versions of the OS, apps can only get location once the app has asked you for permission, and you have granted it.

One thing that’s particularly sensitive is apps’ access to location while the app is not in use (in the background). Android Q enables users to give apps permission to see their location never, only when the app is in use (running), or all the time (when in the background).

For example, an app asking for a user’s location for food delivery makes sense and the user may want to grant it the ability to do that. But since the app may not need location outside of when it’s currently in use, the user may not want to grant that access. Android Q now offers this greater level of control.

Further, in Android Q, users will be able to control apps’ access to the Photos and Videos or the Audio collections via new runtime permissions. For Downloads, apps must use the system file picker, which allows the user to decide which Download files the app can access. For developers, there are changes to how your apps can use shared areas on external storage.

Android Q will also prevent apps from launching an Activity while in the background. If your app is in the background and needs to get the user’s attention quickly — such as for incoming calls or alarms — you can use a high-priority notification and provide a full-screen intent. This will be particularly helpful for developers while pushing notifications when a user is using an app.

The company has also added Sharing Shortcuts, which let users jump directly into another app to share content. The Sharing Shortcuts mechanism is similar to how App Shortcuts works.

You can now request adaptive Wi-Fi in Android Q by enabling high performance and low latency modes. These will be of great benefit where low latency is important to the user experience, such as real-time gaming, active voice calls, and similar use-cases.

As many cameras on mobile devices can simulate narrow depth of field by blurring the foreground or background relative to the subject. They capture depth metadata for various points in the image and apply a static blur to the image, after which they discard the depth metadata. Starting in Android Q, apps can request a Dynamic Depth image which consists of a JPEG, XMP metadata related to depth related elements, and a depth and confidence map embedded in the same file on devices that advertise support.

You can also use the data to create 3D images or support AR photography use-cases in the future.

Here’s how you can get Android Q Beta.

It’s easy – you can enroll here to get Android Q Beta updates over-the-air, on any Pixel device. If you don’t have a Pixel device, you can use the Android Emulator, and download the latest emulator system images via the SDK Manager in Android Studio.

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