Android Q Beta 1 Impressions: New Features in Android 10 Update! [Hands-on]

by birtanpublished on November 25, 2020

the countdown to the next version of Android starts now the first public beta release of Android Q is upon us and that means it's our first proper look at what will eventually become Android 10 we already covered some of this in our early look at a leaked alpha build of cube but in the public beta things are a bit more fleshed out and it's easy to see where Google is headed with this new version of the OS but take a sec to subscribe if you haven't already and we'll jump into our first official look at Android Q before I begin it's worth underscoring that everything we see here

Is part of a very unfinished pre-release version of Android Q so things can and will change between now and the late summer final release previous Android versions have changed a lot over the course of their beta programs and this is just the first of six Q preview builds that we'll see before the launch so first off privacy is a big theme in Android Q q has a completely redesigned permission management system that's centered around the new privacy menu in the Settings app which is a central location to manage everything to do with permissions locations passwords and

Other sensitive data it's easy to drill down and see which permissions are available to each app the way Android handles location permissions has also changed the first time an app asks you for your location you can choose to grant it only while the app is open or at any time in the background and you can toggle between these three options in a new privacy Center as well worth mentioning that the persistent message when an app is using location in the background which we saw in the Q alpha build a couple months ago doesn't appear to be enabled in Q beta 1 there are also

New permissions for activity recognition in apps to make this easier to see as well as a new permission around photo and video access to let you give apps access to your gallery without opening up the whole of your internal storage to prevent apps from taking over your screen unexpectedly google is also stopping apps and launching activities while they're in the background instead they'll be able to use a new type of fullscreen notification for things like incoming calls or other very important alerts speaking of notifications Google is now subtly calling out apps that get

A little trigger-happy with alerts the app information pane now shows you how frequently in a person notifications you can even dig further and view this information by notification channel and when you hear a notification chime this handy new Bell icon will tell you which specific notification just pinged your phone the notification shade itself is also getting a bit smarter in Android q2r event accidental swipes away you can now only swipe right to dismiss notifications swiping left lets you access notification settings and snooze

Options that are introduced a couple of versions ago and if you enable the option to show battery percentage in your status bar then the quick settings area will then show you an estimated remaining battery life up top to help cut down on battery anxiety as well Android cue introduces the ability to turn on battery saver mode automatically based on your usage patterns that means it'll kick in by itself if it looks like you might not make it to the end of the day on the battery charge that you have remaining thanks to the app slices feature introduced in Android Pi Android

Cue can now allow apps to show contextually relevant bits of Android settings controls when the time is right for example here if we're trying to browse a webpage without any connection the app could pop up a Settings panel to allow you to connect a Wi-Fi and speaking of Wi-Fi there's a new high performance Wi-Fi mode the developers can opt in to in queue which is great news for gamers try keep those pain x down when Android Q also makes it much easier to share Wi-Fi networks that you've already connected to with a simple QR code sharing option but easier

Than trying to spout a complicated Wi-Fi password to your friends if you're expecting a major visual overhauling queue then you might be disappointed there are quite a few smaller UI tweaks but it's clear Google isn't thinking about overhauling the pixel interface just yet at first glance the biggest change is the fact that the Google sans font is now used to much more DUI it's taken over the quick settings area as well as the system clock and some other parts of androids notification shade also Android now thoroughly blurs out album art on the lockscreen when you're

Playing music likely to make things a little bit easier to read while also showing the artists and track name on the always-on display it's similar to what Google's done the past with the now playing feature on pixel phones but on the whole the most significant visual upgrade in Android Q might be something that's heavily buried in the current beta build despite being exposed in the display settings menu in the leaked alpha build of Q we use just a couple of months ago I'm talking of course about night mode Google has dabbled with my in service apps for a while but the

Rumor in queue was that Google would finally opt from an OS level night mode switch that affects all apps it is there in the queue beta but currently it needs to be enabled via the command line so you can get your full OS level in light mode fix and it affects a lot of googles apps even though it doesn't quite look perfect yet it's safe to say there's probably a lot more to come with regards to night mode in future Q releases on a similar note OS level theming support in Android has been a long time coming it's still not quite here as a user facing feature but you can play around with

Queues accent car and font options hidden under the developer settings menu and you can also change the icon cutout shape which affects all icons by the way not just apps or codes in the launcher all of this stuff is surely hidden for a good reason though so all decide to wait and see if it's officially revealed in the next few Android q builds sharing an android right now can be slow and clunky at times so Google is reworking things a little bit in queue there's a new faster sharing menu and Google is changing the way sharing intense work behind the scenes apps can surface areas that they

Want stuff to be shared to ahead of time meaning these sharing shortcuts can load instantly into the share menu finally desktop mode for Excel displays was one of the features heavily rumored for Android q and it's sort of here again with the help of some command-line jiggery-pokery in the current queue beta what's here so far is very rough but with the help of a couple of hidden options in the developer settings menu you can get a rudimentary Android desktop going on the pixel 3 complete with Chrome OS style freeform windows that said you do need some command-line

Magic to start it off and the resulting UI is very rough around the edges so Google's pixel camera has been one of the series main strengths and in Android q the OS itself will be getting new feature to support dynamic depth in photos making it easier for after support changing the background or foreground blur level in for example portrait mode shots Google's working with OEMs to bring this open dynamic depth format to device's shipping with Q and AD expect this to coincide with some new features in Google Photos around the time of the pixel fors launch in case

You missed it at MWC 2019 for phones are indeed of reality though for now an exclusive expensive plasticky reality nevertheless Android Q will be the first version to natively port foldables at the OS level with new features to help with changing between folded modes and intelligently splitting the screen in half finally let's round off with a few quick fire changes that don't really fit anywhere else dual sim supports kinder in cue the pixel 3 can use its Isom and physical sim slot at the same time in dual sim dual standby mode that means

You can't use both for calls but you can use one for calls and texts and another for data and that could be pretty useful for traveling hat tips our own Williams and Android police for digging that one up there's a new files app which is now skinned in Google's material theme colors which is to say it's mostly white on white on white Knothole what else to say about this one it's a file manager still basically works the same way it did on hide there's a hidden screen recording option enable the feature flag for this then long press on the screenshot key to activate it screen

Record has been supported using command-line magic all the way back to KitKat but in queue there's a way to do it right on the phone and it appears to be kind of horribly broken right now there's also this handy undo option when you get rid of an app shortcut from the launcher and additional haptic feedback when you're highlighting text or plugging the phone into charge and finally Google says that the arts runtime the engine that makes apps go is faster than ever before in Android cue so that's nice to see as well that's

Gonna wrap our first proper look at Android cue there's a lot to see and a lot that will almost certainly change in the months running up to release if you're using cue hit the comments let us know how you're getting on and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss our continuing Q beta coverage in the months ahead thanks for watching and I'll see you next time

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