Google announced on Tuesday (7) more news from Android Q during the Google I / O developer event. Version 10.0 will support system-wide dark themes, new navigation gestures and improvements to digital well-being. It will also be available on more phones still in beta, including models from Asus, Huawei, LG and OnePlus.
Dark theme and familiar navigation gestures
Starting with the visual part, Android Q’s night mode is more complete: it’s called “Dark Theme” and leaves the entire interface with a black background so as not to overshadow your vision at night – even the notifications and the settings panel, which had been left out on Android P, are dark in the new version. Visual is automatically enabled if you use Android’s power saving.
The promise is that the dark theme will be included in all apps in the standard Google package. In addition, in the case of third-party apps, Android Q will have an API so that developers can deploy night mode – there’s even a way to force it.
Android Q’s navigation gestures are very familiar: you can swipe up to go back to the beginning, stop by to see recent apps and swipe sideways to switch between apps, like on iOS. Google has removed the back button, replacing it with a swipe from the side edges – this doesn’t work so well on the Huawei interface, so we’ll see how apps will behave.
Focus mode and digital well-being improvements
Digital well-being, which helps you control how much time you spend on your phone, has gained the “Focus mode” feature to eliminate distractions. You can select which apps distract you from notifications at all times (such as an email client, a news aggregator or that annoying delivery app) and they will be silenced while you are in this mode.
With native parental controls, parents will be able to define how long and at what times their children will be able to use certain apps, games or their own cell phone, limiting screen time – you can also add a “bonus time” at any time, just to give those five more minutes. These features already existed in the app Google Family Link, but will be built into all Android Q devices.
More privacy and speed in security updates
Google says that Android Q has “almost 50 new features and changes focused on security and privacy”. One of them is in the security updates – which are monthly and should be distributed frequently and quickly by manufacturers, but we know that the world is not that perfect.
So Google decided to streamline the most critical fixes: on Android Q, certain parts of the system, such as media codecs, permission controllers and network components, will be updated through the Play Store, without depending on the manufacturer’s goodwill (and without restarting the device!). Unfortunately, this will only be available on devices that come with Android Q from the factory, not those that are upgraded from Android Pie.
Android Q also attaches greater importance to privacy. It tells you which apps have used your location frequently and includes a new permission: an app will be able to access your GPS all the time, never or (finally!) Only when it is open and visible on your screen. There will also be a screen that centralizes all the permissions you have given – you can quickly see which apps have access to your calendar, contacts, microphone or location, for example.
Live Caption transcribes videos, podcasts and more for the hearing impaired
Google also focused on accessibility: in addition to announcing a speech recognition and call transcription project, the company unveiled a feature called “Live Caption” (or “Caption Live”). It subtitles in real time any content played on mobile phones, such as videos, podcasts or even voice messages on WhatsApp, which will be especially useful for people with hearing impairments – there are 466 million around the world.
With a single touch, the user can read the transcript of what is being played on the device, in any application. Live Caption uses local machine learning, meaning it does not require an internet connection to function, and no audio or subtitles are sent to external servers, according to Google.
When it arrives and which devices are compatible
There is still no official date for the launch of Android Q; not even the name was revealed (I vote for Quindim). But we can expect a final version for the third quarter, if Google follows the tradition.
And on what devices will the new version be available? This depends on each manufacturer, but the beta will be distributed to 23 phones from 13 manufacturers, and it is safe to say that they should also receive stable Android Q. The devices are as follows:
- Asus Zenfone 5z
- Essential PH-1
- Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL (clear)
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- LG G8
- Nokia 8.1
- OnePlus 6T
- Oppo Reno
- Realme 3 Pro
- Sony Xperia XZ3
- Tecno Spark 3 Pro
- Vivo X27
- Vivo NEX S
- Vivo NEX A
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
- Xiaomi Mi 9
Check out the instructions for testing Android Q Beta.
Updated at 7:29 pm to include Live Caption.