Android Q Beta First Look!

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Google's Android Q beta forces a system-wide dark mode if users left their phone on dark mode before upgrading or activate it either by heading to battery saver or with ADB in Android Q. The toggle has been removed in the first beta builds of Q, presumably so that Google can polish it before letting users test it. Right now the beta program is open to anyone with a Pixel phone - you just need to visit the Android Beta Program website, sign in with your Google account, and select your device to get the software delivered straight to your smartphone. It'll be buggy, and serves as a way for Google to get feedback before releasing it to the general public. This release is mainly to give developers a chance to begin testing apps against the new Android API features. There are improvements to how apps resize for different form factors, notably folding phones, and how those apps run in the background. In the past, you could either grant or deny location access for an app, but there was no in between. Meanwhile people are debating which sweet treat will be the version codename for Android Q.

With Android Q, there's now a dedicated Privacy section in the settings app. Apps will now be able to ask users for permission to use location all the time, only when the app is running or never.

Apps will also find it harder to gain access to things such as photos, videos, and audio. All apps accessing Downloads must make use of the system file picker as well.

Google is further limiting access to data like IMEI, serial number, and other such identifiers to apps.

Basically, Google has done a lot to Android's software guts which promise to make it more capable and slicker to use.

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Burke added that the team has been working hard to update the Android Emulator to support multiple-display type switching. If you want t know all the ins-and-outs of the new Beta, there is a dedicated blog post about the OS available on the Android Developers Blog.

These shortcuts are shown to users in the share UI and work similarly to App Shortcuts. Android Q also improves depth maps for cameras that support it.

These Settings Panels are floating interfaces which can be actioned from within an app and used to change settings before closing seamlessly.

Sharing your Wi-Fi network password with friends or asking for theirs can be awkward.

Google hasn't said exactly when Android Q is going to get pushed out to the world at large, but it has said it's going to be sometime in the third quarter of 2019 - so either July, August or September.