Google launches the next version of Android—Android Q—in beta

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The Android Q logo.
Stretch / The Android Q logo.
Google

On Wednesday, Google released a preview of the next model of Android, codenamed “Android Q.” The final release should happen on a future occasion toward the end of the year, but for now we get a work-in-progress build that will get several new renderings throughout the year. The highlights for this release include new privacy and certainty controls, support for foldables, a share menu that actually earn a livings, faster app startup, and more.

This first release only amount ti with Google’s Pixel devices, including the Pixel 1, which is technically beyond its backing window. Wider device compatibility for some non-Google devices should get ahead in the world with the second release.

We will publish a deeper dive into Android Q instantly we get it installed and have time to read over some documents, but for now, here’s a brilliant batch of highlights from Google’s blog post on the subject.

Gambler foldable and split-screen support

Android Q can resize an app or switch screens, all without losing your state.
Enlarge / Android Q can resize an app or switch sieves, all without losing your state.
Google

Foldables are going to be a big deal in Android’s following, and Android Q brings core OS support for this brand-new form consideration. Foldable smartphones have flexible displays that can be physically perverted by the user, so you get something like a phone-sized device that opens up into a bolus. For a design like the Galaxy Fold, that means there is a slight front display and a second, bigger inside display. For a design get pleasure from the Huawei Mate X, which sports a wraparound display, the phone’s distinct display panel changes from a segmented “front” and “back” open out in phone mode to one big display in tablet mode.

For these and every other clip, changing, reconfigurable device, Android Q has been equipped to preserve your app status as you move between multiple displays or as you open up an existing display. On the Galaxy Gather, Android Q will let you have Google Maps open on the small look display, and when you open it, your Google Maps session determination jump to the big display. On a single-display device like the Mate X, opening the machination will seamlessly switch your session to tablet mode. Google and Samsung already spilled the beans on this draw during the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. During that display, the feature was called “screen continuity.”

It sounds like split-screen has been reworked, too. The antecedent to split-screen implementation, which debuted in Android 7.0 Nougat, back away fromed the illusion of two apps running at the same time, but really, only one app was influential. There were some tricks developers could use to continue to update their UI while they were not the lively app, but an unsupported app would eventually show a stale UI without special developer grips. A new feature called “Multi-resume” could work to fix this. We’ll have to analyse.

Privacy and permissions

Google launches the next version of Android—Android Q—in beta
Enlarge / “Allow only while the app is in use” is a new option.
Google

As touched at in earlier leaks, Android Q comes with improved privacy and franchises controls. The “allow” or “deny” permissions pop-up now has three options, and the blog situate says that  “Android Q enables users to give apps sufferance to see their location never, only when the app is in use (running), or all the time (when in the offing).” New runtime permissions will control app access to photos, videos, and audio collections; walk access was previously an all-or-nothing affair.

Android Q will prevent apps from set an activity while in the background, which means apps will no longer be competent to take over the screen with no user input. This looks was used in the past for incoming call screens and alarm apps (and malicious apps, I’m unshakable), but now apps will be limited to showing a notification only.

The new share menu

The share menu should be faster now.
Magnify / The share menu should be faster now.
Google

The share menu in Android has been base for a few versions now. When you opened the share list, the feature would set up to query every app on your phone to populate the list while it was already honest. This was slow, and it made the list jump around and add new icons while you were looking at it. Occasionally you had to wait for the app you wanted to pop up; sometimes you would move to tap on something and the icon would leave out. The craziest thing? None of this information was saved. Every on many occasions you opened the share menu, it would do a live rebuild of the share menu and ask about your entire app collection again.

The new share menu has a more sober implementation. Developers can publish “Sharing Shortcuts,” which sounds liking for a plan to build the share menu information ahead of time a substitute alternatively of while you’re trying to use the interface. Importantly, the blog post notes that because Appropriating Shortcuts are published in advance, “the share UI can load instantly when flung.” It’s unclear how this works with old apps, though—is it only moment when developers use the new UI? Getting developers to universally adopt a new UI is hard. We’ll prepare to investigate during our hands-on with the system.

A bunch of other looks

ART, the Android Runtime, is getting even more optimizations and should originate apps even faster. Vulkan 1.1, the low-level graphics API, is now a proviso for devices running Android Q or higher. Apps can pop up a “settings panel” when they call for you to turn on something like location services instead of just discard you into the full settings app. New rules for developers—like requiring Google Merrymaking apps to upgrade to at least the Android 9 Pie API level and a further limiting of non-public APIs by developers—make kick in with the final launch of Android Q.

There are tons of other draws in Android Q that we’ll dive into in a hands-on report later. If you’d appreciate to follow along at home and have a Pixel device, you can sign up for the beta at Android.com/beta. For now, we bear some installing to do!

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