Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google releases first Android Q beta for Pixel phones

Google releases first Android Q beta for Pixel phones

It's no longer so exclusive - the Android Q public beta is rolling out today, and you can install it on any of Google's Pixel phones.

While Google has yet to announce numerous details that make Android Q the next best thing for consumers, which will likely come as we get deeper into its development, there are a few key things that are new for developers.

Android Q's largest feature is foldable support. The handsets supported are Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL along with the official Android emulator. As part of its work in Project Strobe, Google is adding a number of new privacy and security features to Android Q. These include more control over when apps can get your location information, more control over apps' ability to access private data like photos and videos, and a new blocker on apps launching foreground activities from a background task (which often interrupts what you're now doing in another app). In Android Q, apps can request depth data (JPEG + XMP metadata + depth and confidence map) to, say, offer "specialized blurs and bokeh options in your app", as the Android post suggests. Dynamic Depth will be an open format, so it might take off. Apps should now use the new Download system file picker in order to provide users with more control. For example, Chrome could show shortcut buttons for adjusting settings like WiFi, airplane mode, and data without you needing to go into the Settings app.

As for what's coming in the future, Android Q also has the foldable tech into consideration. Developers can use Dynamic Depth data to create 3D images and AR photography.

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Since Nougat, opening apps got faster over time as Android learned frequently used part of code from an app.

There are still a lot of phones waiting on an update to Android Pie, but that's not stopping Google from rolling out the latest and greatest. You can also set a custom wallpaper for the desktop.

"Sharing Shortcuts" in Android Q also makes it easier to share content like a photo withs someone in another app.

Developers can publish share targets that launch a specific activity in their apps with content attached, and these are shown to users in the share UI.
You should be able to disable or reset your advertising ID without being tracked, and Android Q makes that possible. And it will offer a new Wi-Fi performance mode for when low latency is important, such as during real-time gaming, voice calls, and the like.

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