Android Q was recently showcased at Google’s annual I/O developer conference in May
Android Q was recently showcased at Google’s annual I/O developer conference in May – the new software makes a number of dramatic divergences from Android 9 Pie.
The American tech giant typically releases its new Android versions for Pixel devices in August, meaning it may be mere weeks before fans are able to get their hands on it.
As is typical with all numbered Android updates, devices from third-party manufacturers typically have to wait slightly longer before they are granted the latest and greatest software.
Android Q is currently in beta and 21 devices currently support the early software.
The hefty number includes handsets from the likes of ASUS, Huawei, OPPO, OnePlus and Xiaomi to name a few, suggesting they, and Google, are working hard to ensure owners of such hardware do not have to wait as long to get the newest version of Android.
While Google has already highlighted a number of major changes presented in Android Q, a swathe of others have been unearthed by those that have tested out the various betas for the software ahead of its full release.
With that said, here are the biggest new features present in Android Q.
Android Q could launch in August
Android Q’s headline feature is by far its new dark theme that will ensure all native apps adopt black and dark grey colours when enabled.
A number of third-party Android manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei already offer a dark mode, but Q will mark the first time Google has delivered it in an official capacity.
The American tech firm has insisted the functionality should “reduce eye strain and save battery”.
Discussing the feature, Google said: “Many users prefer apps that offer a UI with a dark theme they can switch to when light is low, to reduce eye strain and save battery.
“Users have also asked for a simple way to enable dark theme everywhere across their devices.
“Dark theme has been a popular request for a while, and in Android Q, it’s finally here.”
Android Q’s headline feature is by far its new dark theme
Android 9 Pie marked Google’s first step towards making Android an experience that can be intuitively navigated with gestures.
9 Pie’s approach was not without its problems though – many, including Express.co.uk, complained that on Pixel devices the software struggled to recognise a long swipe required to open the app draw from a half swipe needed to open the interface’s multitasking menu.
Google is attempting to refine Android’s gestures with Q and this year the software’s traditional back button has been removed entirely.
Now, going back requires a swipe from the side of a phone’s display and heading home can achieved by swiping up from the bottom of a device, similar to what is already offered by Apple’s iPhone.
Commenting on the alteration, Google said: “Many of the latest Android devices feature beautiful edge-to-edge screens, and users want to take advantage of every bit of them.
“In Android Q we’re introducing a new fully gestural navigation mode that eliminates the navigation bar area and allows apps and games to use the full screen to deliver their content.
“It retains the familiar Back, Home, and recents navigation through edge swipes rather than visible buttons.”
Live Caption debuted at Google I/O and essentially allows a supported device to display captions for any media playing on a device.
The feature will surely be incredibly popular for those wanting to watch video on a commute or in a different public situation.
Google hailed Live Caption as a feat of its advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
The Mountain View firm went on: “On top of hardware innovation, we’re continuing to see Android’s AI transforming the OS itself to make it smarter and easier to use, for a wider range of people. A great example is Live Caption, a new feature in Android Q that automatically captions media playing on your phone.
“Many people watch videos with captions on – the captions help them keep up, even when on the go or in a crowded place. But for 466 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing people around the world, captions are more than a convenience – they make content accessible. We worked with the Deaf community to develop Live Caption.
“Live Caption brings real-time captions to media on your phone – videos, podcasts, and audio messages, across any app – even stuff you record yourself. Best of all, it doesn’t even require a network connection – everything happens on the device, thanks to a breakthrough in speech recognition that we made earlier this year. The live speech models run right on the phone, and no audio stream ever leaves your device.”
Live Caption allows a supported device to display captions for any media playing on a device
Android Q will improve device notifications by providing what Google calls “suggested actions”.
Building on its smart replies feature, the function will prompt users to open different apps based on a notification’s content.
This means if a user is sent an address for instance, the alert will display a button allowing the user to quickly open Google Maps.
Android Q will improve device notifications by providing what Google calls ‘suggested actions’
Google is introducing a number of new app permissions in Android Q that are designed to make the operating system for secure for fans.
In particular, Android Q provides users with greater power to choose when apps are allowed to gather data, specifically location information.
If an app requests access to location data in Q, users are presented with three options.
• Allow all the time
• Allow only while the app is in use
The second option is new in Q and does as it says; the software in question will only be able to take advantage of location information when it is open.
Google is introducing a number of new app permissions in Android Q
Google has stated it is improving how sharing works in Android Q.
The firm has announced a new feature dubbed “sharing shortcuts” that seeks to make it simple for users to transition from one app to another in order to share content.
Discussing the functionality, Google said: “When a user wants to share content like a photo with someone in another app, the process should be fast.
“In Android Q we’re making this quicker and easier with Sharing Shortcuts, which let users jump directly into another app to share content.”