The next version of Android is here. sorta.
The company walks through in a just-published blog post some of the myriad changes and tweaks coming with this next version of Android, including new security and privacy protections, more location controls, support for foldable screens and more.
There has been more pre-release buzz about the upcoming Android release than usual this year thanks to a leaked build of Android Q several weeks back.
There will be six betas of Android Q in total, above you can see Google's timeline for these. "For Downloads, apps must use the system file picker, which allows the user to decide which Download files the app can access". Google says it's working with device partners to make Dynamic Depth an open format available across devices running Android Q and later. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options.
Apps will be able to show key system settings in their own context, not having to point you to a specific part of Settings and then hope you do not forget to go back once you've enabled whichever option the app needed. What should Android Q be called?
Android Q also makes sharing content faster.
Device location access
New Wifi modes have been added to benefit certain applications like gaming.
Android Q offers high-performance and low-latency modes for wireless connections. It is worth noting that unlike what happened with Android 9 Pie past year, Google is making its Android Q beta 1 available non-developers as well. Permissions as a whole have also been updated with greater control, including things like shared files, photos, etc.
There's a ton more of screw tightening in Android Q, including support for a AV1 video codec that aims to improve high-res video while using less bandwidth, improved Vulkan support for better game graphics, and faster ART runtimes for speedier startups in various apps.
While it's unclear if this means they will also get the final build of Android Q, due out in the third quarter of 2019 (so July to September), such a move does seem pretty likely now - otherwise why go through the trouble of outing beta builds for them in the first place?
There are two ways to test Android Q on your Pixel, and both are pretty easy. The handsets supported are Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL along with the official Android emulator. If you have one of those, you can head to Google's Android Preview site here. What are your thoughts on the Android Q Beta 1?