Google has announced the first beta of Android Q.
Android Q will focus on a few areas, Privacy, User Features and Imaging.
Google is giving users control over when an app uses your location either none of the time, only when the app is running or all the time (in the background).
Android Q also brings some new runtime permissions which will allow users to control apps access to Photos, Videos and Audio and apps must use the built-in Download file manager in Android.
There will also be limited access to your device’s IMEI, serial number and other identifiers and also randomize your device’s MAC address when you connect to Wi-Fi.
To coincide with upcoming foldable phones (like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X), Android Q officially supports the new form factors by making changes to onResume and OnPause which will support multi-resume and notify when your app has focus.
Sharing Shortcuts is new for Android Q which allow you to jump directly into another app to easily share content, these are similar to App Shortcuts that came with Android Pie.
Android Q also brings a new Settings Panel API which uses the Slices feature in Android and brings up a floating UI to allow you to change system settings like Wi-Fi, NFC, audio controls etc.
Apps in Android Q will be able to request a Dynamic Depth image that uses a JPEG and XMP metadata to show depth related elements. This will allow for more specialized blurs and bokeh options and 3D images in AR photography.
Google says they’ll be working with device-makers help implement Dynamic Depth (which is an open format) across devices running Android Q and later.
Android Q also introduces support for the AV1 open source video codec, speech and music streaming codec Opus and HDR10+.
Google is also releasing an Android Beta Feedback app for devices running the Android Q Beta.
The release schedule for the Android Q Beta will be as follows:
- Beta 1 (initial release, beta) – March
- Beta 2 (incremental update, beta) – April
- Beta 3 (incremental update, beta) – May
- Beta 4 (final APIs and official SDK, Play publishing, beta) – June
- Beta 5 (release candidate for testing) – July (TBC)
- Beta 6 (release candidate for final testing) – August (TBC)
- Final release to AOSP and ecosystem – Q3
Android Q Beta can be installed on all Google Pixel devices:
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Google Pixel 2
- Google Pixel 2 XL
- Google Pixel 3
- Google Pixel 3 XL
To get started, visit the Android Q Beta Sign-Up page, you’ll be able to see which of your devices can be enrolled.
After that, you can click on Opt-In and then Join Beta to get the Android Q Beta on your device via an OTA.
If you want to learn more about specific Android Q features, then check out Android Police’s Android Q feature spotlight articles.