Android Q Beta: An Overview!!

Android Q Beta

It's officially the new Android beta season. And right on time, Google has released its developer preview of Android Q this week. This is a version of Android that you can flash right now.

The Q beta will work properly across all spare Pixel phones. But, again, please download at your own risk. If you don't have a spare device, then good news for you: I'm here to give you an overview.



Visual changes:

With a few little visual changes, Android Q beta looks a lot like the current version of Android Pie.

Sans font:

If you already use other Google products on the web like Docs, Maps, or even Google Flights search, you might've noticed that Google's been moving everything to a new Product Sans font. On the Q beta Product, Sans is everywhere. Though there are some new tools that let you customize the fonts and even the icon shape and the color bars if you don't like this.

You have standard white, black, green colors like from the Hangouts app, and even this new purple color.

The emergency button is more accessible.

Android Q Beta
By allowing you to now access it from the power button Google's also made the emergency button more accessible. You could get to it before from the lock screen, but now, if you just hold the power button, it's one of the buttons under power off, restart, and screenshot.

The battery remaining estimator:

Something I really like about the new beta so far is the new battery remaining estimator. This is now available on the top navigation bar. Before, you would normally see your time remaining estimate when your battery is low, and now, you can just see that right next to the battery icon by dragging down the top navigation bar. This is similar to what you find on your laptops.

There's also a new battery-saver mode that you can enable based on your usage habits instead of how low your battery gets.

The dark mode:

Right now, dark mode on Pie is very limited, but on Q, if you turn on the battery-saver mode, it actually shows up in pages like settings, which means that a system-wide dark mode might be coming in the next version of Android. That's going to be great for fans of dark mode who’ve been asking for this feature.

Privacy:

One of the primary focuses of Q so far is privacy. And that's obviously not a surprise, given the past few months and years in tech. In particular, location and privacy are now broken out into their own setting menu items up front.

Permission to access location:

Android Q Beta

Just like on iOS, you can now give ask permission to access your location only when the app is in use, instead of blanket yes or no, which is going to be great for those who want to limit their data sharing to third parties. That should also be better for your overall battery life.

The Q beta will also limit access to other phone identifiers like the IMEI and serial number, and it will also randomize your MAC address by default instead of optionally on Pie. That's great for those who want an extra layer of protection from ad targeting.

Screenshots:

One of the quirkier changes to Q beta is now how screenshots look on a Pixel 3.

This is the first Pixel to come out with a notch, and now the screenshots include that notch, which… well, I don't know what it's for. But the only way to avoid that notch in your screenshot is to turn off the notch and you get the rounded corners instead. I guess that's one way to show your friends that you have the latest Pixel phone.

Q Easter egg:

My friends and I also haven't been quite able to figure out where the Q Easter egg is. We tried the normal route of going to the about phone and tapping the version number until something comes up. But so far, we're getting the same Pie Easter eggs. So if you find something, please let us know because I can't figure out what dessert Q is supposed to be named after.

Final Words:

Now, this is just version one of the beta, which means there are lots more to come, and lots that I haven't gotten into. What we do know is that Google is definitely preparing for tighter controls around privacy, which will continue to be a big theme in tech. It's also getting ready for alternative screen form factors like foldable phones that are coming out later this year.

What Q will offer are likely improvements from multi-app use and better animations for when you fold and unfold the screens. Still, it's important to know that a lot of Android devices you have right now probably won't ever get Q.

Please let me know in the comments what you think Q could possibly stand for.

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