Every year at Google's I/O event, the company blesses us with a plethora of new technologies that make our lives simpler. One of the technologies happens to be new Android versions and this year, the company has given a good look of the upcoming Android Q. As of now, the beta 3 of the software is out and this time, the beta is available for more smartphones than ever before.
At its root, Android Q is not about bringing new and jazzy features, but is more about making your phone better. Here are the major new features and services that will improve the way you use your phone
Perhaps the most awaited feature on Android OS, Dark Mode is finally here and it's not even the best feature. To enable it, there is no complex method that requires you to head into the settings and what not. There is a simple toggle button on the status bar, making it very easy. Also, Google apps will natively support dark theme so that the look of uniformity is seen across the phone. Apps such as Google Photos, Calendar, Messages and even Contacts have already received support for the new theme.
With the new gestures in Android Q, Google seems to be finishing what it started with Android P. The new gestures are slick, faster, smoother and on the whole, more refined than you would expect. One of the major changes however is the way you interact with these gestures. As for the back button, it has completely been removed and replaced with a gesture. In order to back, you simply swipe from the edge of the opposite side of the phone. Though many apps have hamburger menus here, it would be interesting to see how this one plays out.
As for the home and multitasking gesture, it has taken an iOS like approach. To get to the home page, swipe up on the bar at the bottom (there's no longer a pill shaped button) and to access recent apps, swipe up and towards the right, much like you would in an iPhone X or a similar phone. The new gestures are rather intuitive and could potentially change the way you use your smartphone.
This is another feature that Google is developing since Android P. Taking notes from Digital Well Being, focus mode is something of a mix between Do Not Disturb mode and Digital Well Being. With the help of this, you can basically put a temporary lock on distracting apps and their notifications. Once you've done so, the apps will be greyed out and if you do intend to open them, you'll be greeted with a warning of sorts, letting you know that the phone is currently in Focus Mode. This is a much better implementation of what Digital Well Being sought out to do. Rather than telling you how much time you've spend on an app, you can just lock it down when required.
Though these are features that you don't have to deal with on a regular basis, they are some of the best features on the new OS. With the new permission settings, you can actually choose when an app is making use of your phone's internal memory, microphone, location, camera, contacts and more. This is a neat feature as currently, in Android P, there is only a feature to completely deny access to the permissions. With the help of the new permission settings, users have more control over the security of their phones.
A few more minor but important features coming to Android Q are new closed captions features and new notification reply changes. The closed caption features are rather neat as the phone displays the CC in real time, on any video, using AI, and actually listening to the speech in the video. This is a great feature for the hard of hearing and those that watch videos in quiet places.
The notification features are also great as the phone will read the message you have received and give you automated replies beneath the notification. In case the message has a time and a date, there will be an option to add a reminder to your calendar while if there's a location, you'll be given a chance to navigate there.
Both of the features are great as they make use of AI in your phone in real time and aim to provide you the best experience.
As of now, the beta 3 is out on a massive number of phones. This is the first time that there is actually a beta programme for so many devices. A list of the phones that support it right now can be found here.