Android Q beta available for Pixel phones

Google on Wednesday released the first beta of Android Q, the next version of its popular mobile operating system. 

Early adopters can get started by enrolling any Pixel device, including the original Pixel and Pixel XL. The search giant said a preview software development kit (SDK) is also available Wednesday for developers. 

Android Q brings “a number of additional privacy and security features,” Google said in a blog post, as well as new camera capabilities, faster app startup, enhancements for foldable devices, and more.

Foldable screen support

Android Q lets developers manage how their app is displayed on foldable and large screens. This includes everything from how apps are resized to how apps are muted when not active.

Android Q lets developer control how their apps behave on foldable screens.

Google

JPEG + Dynamic Depth

Many phones have a portrait mode that blurs the background of a subject in a photo. The depth-mapping data used to accomplish the effect is discarded after the photo is created. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options. Developers can use Dynamic Depth data to create 3D images and AR photography. 

HDR10+

The new Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus were the first phones to feature HDR10+ a high dynamic range format for displays. Android Q allows for HDR10+ on phones and tablets that support it. Android Q will also be able to handle AV1 a video codec that allows for higher quality streaming video that uses less bandwidth.

Faster app launches

Since Nougat, opening apps got faster over time as Android learned frequently used part of code from an app. Now with Android Q Google starts an app’s process earlier and moves it to a security container, so it’s ready to launch immediately.

Improved connectivity

Android Q improves connections to IoT devices like appliances and printer. This can be especially helpful when managing connected devices.

Setting panels for apps

Users can manage settings for a floating setting panel that offer up specific function used by the app you’re in. For example, Google Chrome’s display panel might have connectivity settings like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi and data. There’s no need for users to leave an to make adjustments.

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

Google

Privacy protections

You’ll have more control over apps and their access to shared files. You can also control apps’ access to the Photos and Videos. For Downloads, users can decide which Download files an app can access.

Limit location sharing

Users are prompted to give apps permission to see their location never, only when the app is running, or all the time — even in the background. So if you are using a ride share app you can let it track your location while it’s in use, but forbid the app from learning your location data when not.

Faster sharing shortcuts

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.

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Android Q lets developers publish targets for Sharing Shortcuts in advance. This will make it seem instantaneous when a users chooses one.

Google

Wi-Fi performance mode

Android Q offers high-performance and low-latency modes for wireless connections. This will be a boon for real-time gaming and improved voice calls.

App security

Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID. It also adds specific flows for implicit and explicit authentication. Android Q updates transport layer security to TLS 1.3, which Google claims can establish a secured connection 40 percent faster than TLS 1.2.

Up-to-date Android apps

To allow apps to have the most current security and performance features, Android Q will warn users when they install a new app targeting Android Marshmallow or older. This summer the Google Play store will require all apps to have 64-bit support.

The company said it’ll have more to share about Android Q at Google I/O in May.

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