Technology giant Google has released its second Android Q developer preview today and it has been pushed out to all Pixel devices. The changes that come with the second developer preview are not exactly major, however, they are important as they make apps and games ready for foldable phones.
Other than this, Google’s Pixel smartphones have also got Bubbles, which is the company’s new take on multitasking that is similar to Chat Heads on Facebook Messenger. Depending on how Bubbles’ working is implemented, it could affect the way Android looks and works.
Google has shared a screen emulator to show what various apps and games may look like on foldable smartphones. We should point out here that the emulator seems to target two hardware configurations: A 7.3-inch display that folds into a 4.6-inch one and an 8-inch screen that folds to a 6.6-inch one. It is worth mentioning that the former configurations match Samsung Galaxy Fold‘s while the latter is similar to Huawei Mate X’s.
Coming to Bubbles, it is one among the very distinctive changes that will be seen on Android Q. The feature basically lets individual apps leave floating bubbles on top of the screen, and they remain there regardless of other tasks that you perform on the device. The idea behind this addition is that when the user gets a notification from an app, they would be alerted by the Bubble and a keyboard will automatically pop-up for them to reply. However, this won’t hamper the experience of the app that you are using otherwise.
We have already seen a number of apps, including Facebook Messenger, perform similarly. However, Bubbles is not limited to just messages. According to Google, Bubbles can provide users, “a convenient view over ongoing tasks and updates, like phone calls or arrival times. They can provide quick access to portable UI like notes or translations, and can be visual reminders of tasks too.”
It is worth noticing that for some, this could mean a better solution than using apps on a split-screen mode. But for others, it may be just downright annoying.
We should mention that a new gesture navigation has also been added which has revised some controls that would help users switch between apps just by swiping to the left and right on the home button. Although it doesn’t run very well right now, we expect Google to fix it soon. Google is said to release at least one more Android Q beta before Google I/O begins on May 7.