Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Android Q beta available for Pixel phones

Android Q beta available for Pixel phones

Much of what's in this first build is under the hood stuff, and we won't really get an idea of everything that's coming until Google's annual i/O developers event.

Also included with Android Q is improved Wi-Fi performance, better support for foldable smartphones, streamlined biometric authentication, and more.

To get your hands on it, simply head on over to Google's Android Beta Program page and enroll your Pixel Device to receive an over-the-air update - even the original Pixel and Pixel XL are still supported.

Google is also helping apps take advantage of the new foldable screens, and when a user wants to share content with someone in another app, the process will be quicker and easier with Sharing Shortcuts, which let you jump directly into another app to share content. In the past, you could either grant or deny location access for an app, but there was no in between. As expected, it's got a bunch of new features that will refine (and hopefully improve) the Android experience.but since this beta is for developers, a lot of the changes listed on the Android Developers Blog post explain all the new features and APIs for apps. The information requested can be used to apply special blurs and bokeh effects to images. Google says it's working with device partners to make Dynamic Depth an open format available across devices running Android Q and later. You'll be able to control an app's access to the Photos and Videos or Audio collections using new runtime permissions, and for Downloads, apps must use the system file picker to let you decide which downloaded files the app can access. Since Android Nougat, the finalized version of the OS has been published sometime in August with Android Pie having been pushed out the earliest. Developers can use Dynamic Depth data to create 3D images and AR photography. This has been a problem because advertisers would use hardware IDs like your phones IMEI or MAC address to target ads.

Are you going to load the Android Q beta on a Pixel phone?

For app developers, it will mean bringing their products up-to-date with the latest restrictions, rules, allowances and making sure that their old apps don't fall off the Play Store. You should be able to disable or reset your advertising ID without being tracked, and Android Q makes that possible.

There are also tweaks to connectivity, including "adaptive Wi-Fi" that enables high performance/low latency modes, which would be useful for things like online gaming or voice calls.

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

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