Android Q is officially here, and Google has unveiled all new features of its latest operating system – the Android 10.0 Q on the first day of the Google I/O event in California. The search engine giant had proudly announced that there are 2.5 Billion active Android users, globally. There are some underlining features announced with the new Android that will change users interaction with the current and future Android running devices. Some of those features include — 5G connectivity support, foldable phones support, on-device AI, the prominence of privacy and improvements on digital well being as well.
For those who are unaware, Google has already released Android Q developers’ build, a couple of months ago and today Google has announced the third beta of the Android Q. The new beta is said to be available for 12 OEMs this year that include several big names including — Huawei, Nokia, OnePlus, Sony, OPPO, Xiaomi and more. Needless-to-say, Google Pixel devices are the primary devices that receive these new Android updates including the new Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL devices, the company’s latest mid-range smartphones announced at Google I/O.
Here some of the top features announced with Google’s latest Android 10 Q —
Android Q will support foldable phones, which are said to be coming through multiple Android OEMs this year. Since the foldable phones bend and fold more frequently, Google is said to be focusing on screen continuity with the Android Q.
The screen continuity features allows foldable phones to have a seamless experience no matter on which screen they are on, for instance, if a game is being played on the screen when it is folded, users can continue the same gameplay while the screen is being unfolded, i.e. on the larger screen without any latency issues.
Google at the I/O event has confirmed Android Q’s 5G support as multiple OEMs are set to launch their 5G-enabled devices this year. For instance, Samsung had already launched its first 5G enabled Galaxy S10 Plus, and OnePlus is also slated to release its new flagship 5G enabled OnePlus 7 device this month. Google at the event had further started more than 20 carriers across the globe are said to be launching their 5G services this year, and further confirmed more than a dozen of Android OEMs will be launching their 5G-enabled devices as well.
The much anticipated and highly requested feature for ages – the system-wide dark mode has been finally introduced with the latest beta of the Android Q. Users can now enable the new system-wide dark mode in the display settings of their settings or can enable through Quick settings, or by enabling battery saver mode as well. The entire dark interface would certainly be pleasing to the eyes, and Google now allows developers to create their own dark themes with their respective apps.
New Navigation Gestures
With the screens of the Android devices getting bigger and better every year, users are willing to utilize the whole screen space on their devices. Henceforth, the new Android Q beta has an option to enable the new gesture navigation by eliminating the conventional pill gesture, which was introduced in the earlier released Android Pie, last year.
This new gesture allows users to have more screen real estate, and the navigations are pretty much identical to what Apple had introduced with the iPhone X, earlier. Once enabled, users can find a tiny bar at the bottom of the screen, that when swiped up takes you to the home screen, swiping up and holding brings in the multi-tasking pane. And, the familiar back gesture can now be made by swiping from either edge of the screen, regardless of the app.
Android Q introduces a new feature called Live Caption, which as the name suggests brings users automatic captions while playing media on their respective devices. As video watching has been significantly growing across the planet, the Live Caption feature uses Google’s Smart AI to provide captions automatically, as many people watch the videos with captions regardless.
Google believes captions help users to understand what’s in the video regardless of the audio, which means people with hearing problems across the world, can also understand what’s in the video with this new Live Caption feature with Android Q. These captions generated by Live Caption feature can help all users including the people with a hearing problem to watch and understand videos more conveniently. Google further claims the new Live Caption feature brings in these real-time captions on the users’ phone for videos, podcasts and audio messages across any app, which is indeed commendable. The Live Caption feature works without an internet connection, and everything is stored on the device, and nothing goes to the cloud, Google stated.
Google has been continuously improving its cluttered notifications timely over the years. The search giant has introduced smart replies to notifications in Android Pie, which allows users to interact with notifications more smartly. Taking this further, Android Q is bringing the smart replies support across all the apps. With the new beta update, Google is enabling system-provided quick replies to all app notifications by default. These smart reply suggestions on Android Q are powered by on-device Machine Learning service.
Digital Wellbeing with Focus Mode & Family Link
Last year, Google introduced a new Digital Wellbeing feature that was designed for users to handle their smartphone addiction. The feature had brought Dashboards to have a glance at their overall per-day or per-month device usage. It also had an App Timers feature that allowed users to set a time frame for the addictive app usage. And, Google is further expanding this feature by introducing new Focus Mode and Family Link feature.
Focus mode, as the name suggests allows users to focus on a single app or multiple apps that often distracts them and further enable them to silence those apps. Once enabled the apps will be paused until users manually disable the focus mode for those respective apps. The Focus mode can be enabled through Quick Tiles as well.
Family Link is the new feature built into Settings of your Android Q enabled device that brings a new set of parental controls. The Family link allows child’s Android device to get interlinked with parent’s account, which further allows them to set daily screen time limits, and monitor which app their children are spending most of the time on. With Family Link enabled Parents can set device bedtime of their children and can also check reviews, which they want to install as well. The new feature further allows to set time limits on specific apps, and lastly, this Family Link feature will be coming to Android Pie devices as well.
Every tech giant is currently focused on managing users privacy within their services, and Google is no exception. With Android Q, Google is bringing more control to its users in terms of their device’s privacy. The search giant has brought extensive changes in privacy controls with the new Android Q update. In Android Q, users get control on when to give their location access with any specific app. Unlike earlier, users will now have more control of accessing their location to any app.
For instance, users can allow his location to an app only when the app is in use and not always, like before, regardless of the app is active or not. In Android Q, when a user installs an app, it usually asks for users location access, wherein users will now get a new option called ‘allow only while using the app’ tapping this will allow users to give their access only when the app is in use or active.
Apart from these significant new features in the Google’s latest Android Q, the company had also brought several improvements in the overall experience of the Android Q that includes security improvements, dynamic depth for photos, internet & Wi-Fi connectivity improvements and more. As stated earlier, alongside the new Android Q, Google had also unveiled its latest mid-range smartphones – the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, starting at Rs 39,999 in the Indian markets. The full release of the new Android Q is scheduled to be released this fall. So, what do you think of these new Android Q features? and also guess what ‘Q’ might be named, do let us know in the comment box below and stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more such interesting updates.