Technology giant Google has finally released the first preview of Android Q to its developers today. This is the first time that we are getting a first official look at the next Android version. We should mention that it is becoming an annual tradition for Google to give a look at its next major Android update in March, before releasing it in May.
But then, only developers would be getting this first look and a number of changes that will have an impact on the usage pattern are not present on this version yet. Google has said, though, that the update gets some interesting and anticipated changes like enhanced privacy controls and support for foldable phones.
All the Pixel smartphones – including Pixel and Pixel XL – will be getting the first beta of Android Q. The search giant has said that it has added support for Android Q beta on Pixel and Pixel XL because of popular demand. However, we will recommend you not to install it on your main device, as beta versions are usually not bug-free. But then, there will be those who will think that having a first look at the updates that Google is adding to Android Q is worth it, even though the technology giant is saving some for its Google I/O developer conference.
Among the major changes that Android Q will get to smartphones is an additional privacy setting that will give users control over location access. Using it, one can make sure that apps only get access to their location when they are in use, rather than pulling that information at all times. Google is also adding settings that will put limits on apps having access to photos, videos, audio as well as downloaded files on the handset.
Another big change that the next Android version will see is support for foldable phones. Android Q will be better at resuming and pausing apps that run in the background. It will also be able to resize apps better for split-screen modes. All these features would prove to be useful when Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X finally hit the shelves later this year.
Moving on, Android Q will also be getting a new Settings Panel API, using which developers would be able to give an instant, pop-up access to phone settings. This means that users will be able to access a number of settings easily without having to go to the smartphone’s Settings app again and again.
Another thing that has improved is the share sheet, which will let users pre-publish how various apps work with sharing. This means that the share UI will load instantly, and there will be no need of manually rebuilding all actions each time.
Google is also standardizing how depth map images will work with Android. The search giant is doing this with Dynamic Depth format that comprises of a JPEG image, depth metadata, and a depth map bundled together. So, going forward, it will be easier for third-party apps to offer specialized bokeh and blur options.
One thing that we still don’t know about Android Q is the dessert that it will be named after. We are still waiting for that to be announced. If you know any Q-named desserts that you want Android Q to be named after, let us know in the comments below!