24 January 2020
Android Q took a back seat during the Google I/O 2019 event because several other important announcements around the operating system were made already. And yes, much is already known about the next major Android version as well. So, the announcement went somewhat quicker than others. However, Beta 3, of course, has something more to add.
Google started its event mainly around visual search and Lens, AR, and AI and later we learned about the Android Q and its features, including the privacy and support for new kind of displays – foldable phones.
Note that the developer only beta came in March and today Google put out some more details about the forthcoming release. While announcing what’s new in Android Q, Google announced the Dark Mode as well. The Dark Theme will be released system-wide in Android Q. It will be accessible via a toggle switch in the quick settings area, and it will also get activated when you enable the battery saver mode.
Another key highlight of the upcoming release of the Android Q is the Live Caption. This feature adds captions to a video you’re watching when you press the volume button and then a “live caption” button that will show up on the onscreen volume slider.
These captions will hover over the screen and you can select them to fit them wherever you want them on the screen.
Then comes the smart replies that will now work on any messaging app running on Android Q. It will suggest replies right in the notification area. Smart reply can also suggest other actions based on what’s in your notifications. So, if someone sends you an address, it will bring up the option to open Google Maps.
How privacy could be left behind when we are talking about the operating system. Google says there are now 50 new privacy and security settings in Android Q. For instance, it will limit location tracking using the new location services settings. You can now choose to share location data with apps only while they’re in use. Plus, you’ll receive reminders when an app has your location in the background. So, this way, you can decide whether or not to continue sharing.
Also, Google is adding a new “focus mode” that will help you shut down various distractions. It will block most app alerts and notifications while allowing only important contacts to reach you.
The Android Q Beta 3 is available for 21 devices from 13 brands, including all Pixel phones. Note that if you’re already enrolled in the beta and received Android Q Beta 1 and Beta 2 on your Pixel device, you’ll automatically get the Beta 3.