SRINAGAR — Google has finally released the first beta of the next version of its mobile operating system – Android Q.
The next iteration of the Android OS has a lot more difficult task at hand. Apart from working on the existing devices, the OS will have to handle 5G devices and adapt itself to the foldable Android devices.
However, the new Android Q build is still in the first beta stage of testing and would only be made available to the developers running Pixel devices like Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3, leading all the way up to the original Pixel.
Unlike the previous generation of first Android OS builds which were installable only manually, the Android Q Beta 1 can be received over-the-air. Before installing, you’ll have to join the Android Beta program.
Some of the new features that the Android Q might bring are:
Dark Mode: Having a dark mode is given in 2019, but Android Q will implement it throughout the system. This will be a great addition for people who use their phones at night and it will also save battery power.
Privacy: Android Q will apply restrictions on when the application can start activities. The apps will be given permission only when they are in use. The beta will also grant limited access to device identifiers such as IMEI and serial number while MAC addresses will be random.
Foldable and other innovative screens: 2019 is turning out to be the year of foldable screens. There will be all kinds of iterations of the fold and Android Q will be ready. Apps will be able to take better advantage of the foldable phones and other large-screen devices.
Settings panel: With Android Q, the user will be able to see the system settings directly inside the app. The new Settings Panel API uses the Slices feature introduced in Android 9 Pie to give users a floating UI with relevant system settings.
Better facial recognition and Smartlock: As part of the security, Android Q will allow users to use facial recognition to not just unlock the device but also use it for shopping and logging into apps. The smart lock feature will also get improved.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, Android Q will also bring features like desktop mode, native screen recording, no back button, new audio video codecs, et cetera once it releases to the masses.
However, the most important feature is the addition of privacy controls. As the tech giant came under fire for facilitating the widespread collection of personal data, Google has responded by adding new privacy features to Android Q.
Having said all that, Android phone makers have a poor track record of updating their software in a timely manner, if at all. Unless you’re using one of Google’s Pixel phones, which can now beta-test an early version of Android Q, you might not see these privacy improvements for quite some time.