Android 10 Review: This is Android in 2020! [Android Q]

by birtanpublished on September 21, 2020

the new Android 10 might not come with any sweet treat nickname attached but that doesn't make the new release any less important we still have a whole new version of Android to get stuck into this is the version we'll be shipping on

Just about every new Android phone for the next year Android 10 is more of a refinement than a huge visual overhaul but it does bring big changes to navigation notifications and privacy as well as telegraphing some of the

Features we can expect from the pixel for phones this fall for more pixel for goodness and future be sure to subscribe in the meantime I'm Alexa mater at Central and this is our review of Android 10

so let's begin with the biggest feature change of all androids gesture navigation is drastically different in Android q you can still use androids old three button navigation if you want and

On pixel phones there's also a version of the two button navigation we first saw on a pixel three last year but the big new change is the addition of fully gestural navigation which frees up almost all the screen for your apps and

Content as before you can swipe up to view predictive row of apps and scroll through your recent apps or swipe up further to go straight into the app drawer but the way you swipe between apps now works much more like iOS with

Apps retaining their place in the list when you hop between them back and Android PI quickly switching to a new app would immediately bump it to the top of a stack for the most part this all works pretty well and sure you lose a

Portion of the screen to the navigation bar in some apps but visually it is an improvement on what was there before to account for the new smaller navigation bar you now get these weird corner frame things for activating the Google

Assistance simply swipe diagonally inward to launch your assistant and the manual screen rotation toggle has been changed to this floating button which you'll see if you don't have auto rotation turned on that's mostly good

However throughout the Android Q beta program the new back gesture has been contentious among Android fans because of its potential to interfere with sliding menus in certain apps for instance slack or the Google Play Store

Here Google's answer is to allow an exclusion area in certain apps that's an area of space at the side of the screen where the back gesture can't be triggered it's also possible to peek and hold to activate so called hamburger

Menus in Android 10 but this doesn't always work reliably so this is gonna be a bit of a pain point for early adopters in the new version until apps are updated for Android 10 at least if you hated that art other navigation options

Available you can control the sensitivity of the back gesture too which is nice plus we can expect other Android phone makers to give users a choice in navigation where new phones start to ship on android 10 just like we

Saw in android pi next is something that's long been requested by the Android community a dedicated system white dark mode we've seen this in individual apps before but in version 10 it's a single option that

Applies to every app on your phone provided it's been updated for Android 10 and even in the early days of Android 10 we can see this already built into most of googles apps why is it here well some people find the dark thing to

Be easier on the eyes and because of the way OLED screens work a dark theme can also help you save power and extend your battery life the only downside is for non google apps you'll have to wait for the app developer to patch in support

For the dark theme we've seen hints that a future pixel UI update might add more direct theming or color customization controls similar to what you can do in a one plus phone right now it's not live just yet though so perhaps we'll have to

Wait for the pixel 4 series for those features to arrive while we're talking about the pixel UI it's worth pointing out some small changes even if Google's interface hasn't been completely overhauled in this new version Google's

Sans that's the Google font has been spread even more throughout the UI including the system clock and the notification panel album art is now blurred when it appears in the lockscreen making things a bit easier to

Read Google's always-on ambient display has been redesigned to show more information like the artist and track when a music app is playing the Settings app has been tweaked making it easier to toggle relevant settings without

Drilling down through multiple layers of menus for things like Wi-Fi speaking of Wi-Fi the new version also adds an optional high performance Wi-Fi mode but games can use for higher priority connectivity and less lag meanwhile

Sharing Wi-Fi networks to other devices is easier than ever with this new option to share Network details by a QR code on pixel phones haptic feedback has been improved too with firm short taps for highlighting text and a new soft

Vibration when you plug in the phone to charge and when you're not charging Android ten can show you how long your battery's gonna last in the top right corner to help you manage your battery life more intelligently

That's instead of just showing you the percentage readout up there plus you can also choose to activate battery saver mode based on your usage patterns not just based on that battery percentage and finally this isn't just a pixel

Thing but androids sharing menu has been overhauled to be much faster while also giving you a more concealed list of contacts and apps one way you won't be able to share on Android 10 however is over Android Beam the NFC

Based sharing standard first launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich way back in 2011 has been removed from the new version on pixel phones it's possible other manufacturers may keep it around when their phones are updated but

I wouldn't hold your breath privacy is another major focus in Android 10 so now there's a new privacy menu bring together everything from notifications on your lock screen to add preferences by far the biggest part of

Android tens new privacy features is the new permission manager which makes it easy to see which apps have access to your stuff but perhaps the most sensitive information of all Google has brought in changes that make it easier

To see what apps are using your location the first time an app asks for your location you can deny allow or only allow it when the app is open it's a much-needed change because obviously there's a big difference between an app

Needing your permission once or twice while you're using it and being able to constantly track you in the background also to cut down on the number of apps using that location permission Android 10 has a new dedicated permission for

Activity tracking designed for health and fitness apps what's also really handy is being able to choose a permission and then see which apps have access to it so if you come across something that doesn't quite look right

You can easily go in and change things up plus while we're talking about keeping tabs on bad apps the new version also stops apps and launching activities in the background meaning it's harder for malicious apps to just conjure

Themselves up automatically for apps that need to show things like full-screen call alerts they can use a new type of full screen notification Google's ongoing refinements of androids notification system continues in Android

10 with some obvious and not so obvious changes all messaging apps can now use google's predictive smart replies feature which is first introduced back on android oreo and that's been expanded with smart actions for things like

Quickly opening a link in a message media player apps like YouTube now get their own progress bar controls letting you jump to a specific point in a song or video without opening the app this handy chime icon lets you see which app

Just buzzed your phone meanwhile silent notifications are grouped together down below in their own area of the notification panel there's also a redesigned menu for controlling notifications making it

Easier to force apps to silently notify you or disable notifications from certain apps altogether it's all about putting you in control of what is a potentially very distracting side of smartphone use with that in mind it's no

Surprise to see this new notification menu in Android 10 similar to the permissions many real lets you see exactly how often apps are notifying you so if something's blowing up your phone over and over again with alerts this can

Let you track down the offending app it gets pretty detailed and you can even drill down and view things by notification channel the launch of Android 10 marks the first anniversary of Google's digital well-being

Initiative and this is expanded even further in the new version to help you strike a healthy balance of screen time digital well-beings app timers are now built into the recent apps menu so you can see how much time you've got letter

And app before opening it and in an updated digital well being coming soon the new focus mode will it use your phone with fewer distractions this lets you identify apps that are likely to distract you then enabling focus mode

Will freeze these apps when it's available you'll be able to launch focus mode via a tile in the quick settings panel and on that subject there are a few promised features in Android 10 that aren't live just yet and which we may

Have to actually wait for the pixel for before we see them fully launched one of these is live transcribed shown here at Google i/o 2019 why transcribe is similar to the feature on YouTube which generates automatic captions with videos

So imagine that except running on your phone at all times and active for any kind of audio or video contents that's obviously a huge deal for people with hearing difficulties as well as anyone who's ever forgotten their headphones

That's the promise of live transcribe which you can probably expect to see debut on the pixel for and also when the pixel for launchers it'll have Google's new upgraded and much faster assistant with commands processed in real time on

Your phone google gave a really impressive demo of this back at i/o 2019 so expect the pixel 4 to be a launch device for by other phones running Android 10 in the months ahead the pixel 4 should also

Take advantage of Android tens new API so face recognition which are documented on the Android developer site but not in use on the current pixels because they don't have the hardware secur face unlock expect the array of

Sensors on the pixel Falls sizable forehead to help out on that front at the same time the new OS level support for depth maps in photos in android 10 should go hand-in-hand with the expected dual lens camera around the back of the

Pixel 4 should also help out phones like the huawei mate 30 which is expected to pack a formidable camera set above its own and also launch on android q while we're talking crazy future phones Android 10 is the first version to

Natively support foldable phones obviously both major foldables announced thus far the Samsung Galaxy fold and huawei mate X have been dogged by many months of delays and who knows which version of Android each of these will

Actually ship with in any case once Android 10 arrives they'll benefit from native support for resizing apps and intelligently splitting the screen between multiple apps once the device is opened out but arguably more important

Than any of that stuff is something you can't really see beyond this single line in the about page this is Project mainline Google's latest effort to speed up the deployment of Android updates building off the work already done in

Project rebel to make Android more modular mainline let's device makers update individual components of Android without having to push out a full firmware update what does that mean well hopefully devices with Android 10 should

See faster turnaround times for important bug fixes and security improvements that's because all this stuff can be updated by the Google Play Store without needing a full firmware update to wheel out an oft-repeated

Cliche Android 10 is greater than the sum of its parts it's one of those updates that changes a lot of small things for the better and in doing so elevates the polish of what was already a very mature and reliable mobile OS the

Major themes here are twofold pony back in control of your phone and all its various distractions and making it easier to see what your apps are doing with your data ironically the one area where some polish is lacking is arguably

Android tens most noticeable new feature for regular users the new gesture controls expect the mixed reception this features seem to have a beta program to continue once it hits more devices in any case with the traditional Android

Sweet treat monikers finally consigned to history and new android branding being rolled up by Google with Android 10 we're turning the page on a very long chapter in androids history that's it for now stay tuned for more and

10 when it hits other devices in the months ahead and subscribes you don't miss all of our future coverage thanks for watching and I'll see you next time you

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