Sci-tech

Google releases the first builds of Android Q

Google releases the first builds of Android Q”

Now that the first Android Q beta has been released for all Google Pixel smartphones and the Android Studio emulator, it's possible to try it out.

If you prefer, you can download the latest Android Q Beta build and manually flash it to your Pixel device.

Numerous previously announced features for foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold are also built into Android Q. For developers, that means supporting new paused and resumed states that allow multiple apps to work on a larger display.

We heard rumours earlier in the week that the Android Q Beta will be available on a wide array of devices. If you have one of those, you can head to Google's Android Preview site here.

It's also - even at this early stage - brimming with performance improvements for apps and games, and new depth features for images allowing developers to get creative with effects in their apps. It is worth noting that unlike what happened with Android 9 Pie a year ago, Google is making its Android Q beta 1 available non-developers as well. Dynamic Depth will be an open format, so it might take off.

Android Q lets developer control how their apps behave on foldable screens. Others are more nuanced quality-of-life refinements, like improved shortcuts to make sharing content between apps easier and faster. This data can also be used to create 3D images or support AR photography use cases.

Developers will also be able to show contextually-important system settings within their apps, which harnesses the "Slices" feature that came in Android 9 Pie.

Google releases first Android Q beta for Pixel phones

If you're using any Pixel phone though, you're set. With the new OS, developers can publish share targets that launch a specific activity in their apps with content attached. So instead of having to navigate to Settings to switch on Airplane Mode or toggle Wi-Fi or Mobile Data on/off, say, you'll be able to do that right within your mobile browser.

This is pretty neat and resembles what you can simulate with an app like Focos, which lets you change the shape of the bokeh from a circle to, say, a star, or triangle, or heart.

Android Q is a beta and as such, it's likely buggy.

There are also tweaks to connectivity, including "adaptive Wi-Fi" that enables high performance/low latency modes, which would be useful for things like online gaming or voice calls.

Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID.

Of course, you'll need an eligible device in order to take part in the beta.



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