Android Q beta: 10 significant changes

Florence Fletcher
March 17, 2019

Android Q, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system has been announced and you can get it now if you don't mind using the developer preview. In Beta 1 the theming section is in Developer options, but hopefully it will be available as part of the regular settings in the end. Google says Android Q expands to 60 new operations, such as ARGMAX, ARGMIN, and quantized LSTM with a handful of performance upgrades.

Pixel user can experience the initial features of Android Q by participating in the Android Beta Program from here.

But safety first! Back up your device before you dig in, including any critical data that would get wiped should you decide to roll back your device to a stable version of the OS. To be clear, this just refers to the first developer preview, which means it's primarily for developers because they're probably the only ones who can deal with the risks associated with using unfinished software. Scroll down the page and select the compatible device you'd like the Android Q beta to be installed on.

Dark Mode: Having a dark mode is given in 2019, but Android Q will implement it throughout the system. "You may also encounter issues restoring a backup".

It is advised not to install Android Q beta on your primary device as some functions might not work as they are supposed to. Google is letting app developers do just that in Android Q.

Google is expected to launch new Pixel hardware at some point in the coming months, but it won't be the Pixel 4 you want.

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Beta 1 will deliver a new Sharing Shortcuts feature that will let the user share content with someone in another app.

One of the key changes in Android Q is additional privacy settings for location access.

With Android Q, you have a few seconds after an app has been removed to undo the change. This might not be a groundbreaking feature, but it's still nice to have and it adds one more reason to why Android fans might want to purchase a Pixel smartphone instead of one made by OEMs.

Android Q also gives you more control over apps and what they can access.

These Settings Panels are floating interfaces which can be actioned from within an app and used to change settings before closing seamlessly. Android Q delivers more nuanced controls for customising (often shutting off) each app's location data settings, as well as controls that prevent apps from accessing your files without permission. This takes advantage of the Slices feature introduced in Pie, and a floating UI will show up with system settings such as internet connectivity, NFC, and audio volume.

Finally, Android 10 will require 64-bit support in all apps. It supports AV1 video codec to offer high-quality video streaming while consuming less bandwidth.

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