Google announces Android Q: New features revealed in beta version

Google releases first Android Q beta for Pixel phones

In keeping with its pattern of a March release for the last several years, Google has as of this afternoon launched the first developer preview of the next major version of Android - giving developers and early adopters a look at what's coming via a beta that's being made available for even more devices this time around.

Information about Android Q is scant at the moment, but the new mobile operating system will introduce new privacy features, support for foldable handsets, and more, Google says. To you get started building and testing on these new devices, we've been hard at work updating the Android Emulator to support multiple-display type switching - more details coming soon! You can run this too on your Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, or Pixel 3 as well.

For those who have the percentage for their battery in the status bar turned on, this isn't a big deal; you don't really need to see the battery percentage in your quick settings again.

Android Q also comes with hardened privacy protections that'll give users more control over when apps access their location; you can choose to only let an app access your location when it's in use as opposed to always or never. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options.

Dynamic Depth format for photos.

Also on the permissions front, you'll be able to better control apps' access to your photos, videos, and audio files, and to get inside the Downloads folder apps must use the system file picker, which lets you decide which files the app can access.

That's right, notches and screen corners now appear in Android Q screenshots.

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. You can also set a custom wallpaper for the desktop.

Developers can publish share targets that launch a specific activity in their apps with content attached, and these are shown to users in the share UI.

Android Q offers high-performance and low-latency modes for wireless connections.

Google doesn't mention it in its official blog post, but Android Police spotted for some theming options in Android Q's developer settings. You should be able to disable or reset your advertising ID without being tracked, and Android Q makes that possible.

Now, for the most important question: What does the Q in Android Q stand for?

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