04 April 2019
As speculated in recent reports, Google has finally released Android Q developer beta. The latest beta has been released for all Pixel devices including the original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Google said that these two devices were added to the program because of the "popular demand".
Most of the Android Q features are currently unknown as they will be released at this year's Google I/O but still, the official blog post has shed light on a few of them. The team has improved privacy settings by offering more freedom to users when it comes to granting location permission to apps. One can now choose whether to allow location tracking all the time, only when the app is in use or never.
Since foldable phones are going to be all the rage in the coming years, Google has added relevant support for them in Android Q. It includes changes to pausing and resuming an app's working with support for multi-resume. The team has also improved screen resizing functionality for better working in split-screen mode and for phones with foldable displays.
Google has introduced a new Settings Panel API with the aim of making it easier and faster for users to access settings. In the current state of Android, a user has to exit the app and visit settings if they want to make a relevant change or some other similar tasks. But with settings panel, users will be able to do so without having to leave the app which will result in more convenient user experience.
With Android Q, Google has added a new dynamic depth format for photos. This new format is said to help phone cameras in offering specialized background blurs for portrait shots. It consists of "a JPEG and XMP metadata related to depth related elements, and a depth and confidence map embedded in the same file on devices that advertise support."
As per the currently released timeline, Google will be releasing a total of six betas in coming months before the release of Android Q stable version for everyone. The final release is expected to happen in Q3 2019 which is a similar schedule to previous Android releases.