Google Releases Android Q Beta for Developers, Early Adopters

Google releases first Android Q beta for Pixel phones

If you have a Google Pixel device (including the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, or Pixel XL) you can enroll it in Google's Android Beta for Pixel program to try out the Android Q Beta.

While Google has yet to announce numerous details that make Android Q the next best thing for consumers, which will likely come as we get deeper into its development, there are a few key things that are new for developers.

Foldables are a popular new smartphone trend, like the Samsung Galaxy Fold that's coming to T-Mobile, and Android Q will include better support for these devices. You can run this too on your Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, or Pixel 3 as well. It's a very early release and is coming out now so that app makers can get a jump on updating their software to take advantage of Q's new features. The Android Q Beta 1 is aimed towards the developers for testing their apps for the new version of Android. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options.

In terms of imaging, applications can now request a Dynamic Depth image that contains metadata surrounding the elements related to depth along with a confidence map in the same file. Google also says it plans to integrate support for folding displays in the Android Emulator for developers soon.

There are still a lot of phones waiting on an update to Android Pie, but that's not stopping Google from rolling out the latest and greatest.

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"Sharing Shortcuts" in Android Q also makes it easier to share content like a photo withs someone in another app.

The Wi-Fi stack in Android Q has been rebuilt to improve privacy and performance, and also improve use cases like managing IoT devices and suggesting internet connections without requiring the location permission. Furthermore, it will also be used in instances of 3D images and support for AR photography. This means support for multi-resume and the ability to notify an app when it has the user's focus, and help for developers to manage how their app is displayed on a foldable screen. For example, Chrome could show shortcut buttons for adjusting settings like WiFi, airplane mode, and data without you needing to go into the Settings app. This has been a problem because advertisers would use hardware IDs like your phones IMEI or MAC address to target ads. Google says users will be able to toggle on a "low latency mode" which would be beneficial for "real-time-gaming" and "active voice calls".

Android Q is a beta and as such, it's likely buggy.

Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID.

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