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15 New Features We've Already Spotted in the Android Q Beta

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Android Q is here — in an early, beta form — and if you've got any generation of Pixel phone on hand then you can give it a test run. We've been playing around with the beta edition, and these are the most significant changes we've spotted, along with the new features Google has been trailing.

If you want to install Android Q for yourself, you'll need a Pixel phone — even the first generation handsets have been included in the beta. Head to the official Android Beta for Pixel page, click View your eligible devices and you should see your pixel phone listed: Click Opt in to install the beta.

The usual caveat about beta versions applies here ̵

1; expect a lot of bugs, a lot of crashes, and a lot of weird behavior from your apps. We wouldn´t recommend installing this on a phone you rely on every day, in other words. You should also check your dark mode setting before installing, you can change it in Android Q (see the first section below).

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Signing up for and installing the beta version of Android Q will not be able to get rid of any apps or data, and if you do not, anything will continue to be updated on the air and then the final, stable version of Android Q when it's ready. [19659003] If you want to go back to Android 9 Piece before that happens, it only takes a couple of clicks on the same Android Beta for Pixel website, but in this instance your phone, apps, and data will be completely erased — so you

We've taken the plunge and here's what we've noticed so far, with thanks to the nice folks at Android Police, 9to5Google and XDA Developers for helping us uncover some of these

1) Dark fashion is here — but you can't toggle it [19659010] Screenshot: Gizmodo

Android 9 Advanced and Device theme in Settings — but it's much more extensive and complete in Android Q. As yet though, there's no actual dark fashion toggle switch, so make sure you've set the theme the way you like it before you abandon Android 9 Pie (there's a workaround here).

2) Notification swipes and bell icons

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Small but potentially significant: Android Q only lets you dismiss notifications with a swipe to the right. Previously swipe to the left or the right would dismiss them, but now swipe to the left brings up the notification options.

3) More notification options

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Here's another change to notifications in the Android Q beta. and Keep alerting . That silent mode (where notifications appear without adding noise or vibration) was available in Android 9 Pie too, but you couldn't get it from the notifications themselves.
4) Android adds theming

Screenshot : Gizmodo

Android Q brings with it the first signs of native theming for the operating system. Enable developer options (with seven taps on Build number in About phone in Settings), then from Settings choose System Advanced and Developer options —you'll see theming options for the accent color, system fonts, and icon shape down at the bottom of the list.

5) Screenshots support notches and corners

Screenshot: Gizmodo

A potentially significant change if you take a lot of screenshots on your Android devices (like we do) —screenshots now include notches and rounded corners as black cutouts, more closely matching the actual look of your screen. It is possible that an option to add this feature on and off might appear in future Android Q beta releases as time goes on.

6) Access system settings more easily

Screenshot: Google

Apps will sometimes ask you to change something in settings – like switching to an ad hoc network when setting up a smart home kit – and in Android Q you don't have to jump over to settings and back again. Apps are now able to request that certain settings pop up in a floating window, which means you can get back to what you were doing more easily.

7) Share your wifi network with a QR code

Screenshot : Gizmodo

If you have a Wi-Fi passcode for someone sounds like too much trouble, use this new feature in Android Q instead: A settings tap Network & Internet then Wi-Fi then the name of your network and Share to reveal a QR code. Someone else can then scan it with their phone camera by tapping the icon to the right of Add network on the Wi-Fi menu.

8) Now playing on the lock screen

Screenshot: Gizmodo

As you would expect, plenty of little touches are scattered through Android Q. If you're playing music, you are listening to shows up on the 'always on' display on the pixel, if you try to wake up the phone you will see the lock screen background adopts a blurred version of the artwork of whatever it is you've just got playing.

9) Android Q adds a desktop mode

Screenshot: Gizmodo

It looks as though Google is prepping a Samsung Dex-like desktop mode for Android – although without a secondary display we couldn't test it. If you go to System Advanced Developer options from Settings, you can see an option to Force desktop mode when another screen is attached. You can read more about the new fashion here.

10) More privacy controls

Screenshot: Google

Yet more privacy controls arrive with Android Q: Location access for apps can now be allowed all the time , only when the app is in use, or never (just like iOS). Access to photos, videos and audio is set independently, and apps are no longer allowed to jump into the foreground and take focus.

11) Support for foldable screens [19659040] Screenshot: Google

You might have noticed one or two foldable phones appearing lately, and Android Q is keeping up to speed with support for "innovative experiences and use cases" (in Google's words). Not having a useful phone ourselves, we have been unable to test these innovative experiences yet, but if you buy a Huawei Mate X it is good to know.
12) An improved Share menu [19659043] Screenshot: Gizmodo

The Android Share menu can be very versatile and very frustrating, so Google has made some tweaks to it in Android Q (as it previously promised). You'll be able to see what you're sharing for a start at the top of the Share sheet and app developers can preload particular sharing shortcuts in advance so they load up more quickly.

13) Deeper access to photo effects

Screenshot: Google

Many modern smartphones capture data through their cameras to create focus and bokeh effects, and in Android Q apps can request more of that data to create more specialized effects. This is going to depend on your smartphone and the apps you use, but look for more advanced 3D and augmented reality features in the future.

14) A native Android Q screen recorder

Screenshot: Gizmodo

It looks like though Google is making a native Android screen recorder. Open up settings in Android Q, choose System Advanced and Developer options and you'll come across a Feature flags option . Enable the settings_screenrecord_long_press setting, then press the power button and long press the Screenshot button, and hey presto …

15) … and other little touches

Screenshot: Gizmodo

There are plenty more to come than carry on rolling out this year, so stay tuned for updates. You can now undo an item from the home screen, for example, as well as change the default app used to show emergency contact information (via Apps & Notifications Advanced , Default apps and Roles in Settings).

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