Yes, it’s March and everything indicated that Google was about to launch the first beta of the next version of its famous mobile operating system and that’s how it was. Android Q Beta 1 is here , and to everyone’s surprise this version is not only for developers, but also for those users who want to try it, of course, as long as they have a Pixel smartphone.
Unlike what was seen in previous years, where Google waited until the second preview for developers to open it to the general public, this first beta of Android Q is available to all without restriction, although limited at the moment only to Pixel devices .
The most remarkable news of Google Android Q beta 1
In summary , these are the most remarkable new features of Google Android Q beta 1 : new privacy and security features, improvements for folding devices, new APIs for connectivity, new multimedia codecs, new functions for the camera, compatibility with Vulkan 1.1 and a new start fast for applications.
Now let’s get to know them a little more in detail.
- Location services : a new function that seeks to give users more privacy, which will now allow greater control over the applications that make use of our location in real time, even in the background. Here users can authorize applications to use the location of the device only when the app is in use or at all times.
- Storage and its scope : finally we will have more control over the use of storage of our Android device, because with this new function we can limit the access to our files by the applications. Photos, videos and audios will have new permissions of execution, something that also will apply for the downloads, where we will decide which application will be able to make use of our archives and at what moment. This change also means that developers must change the way their applications use the shared storage areas.
- Control of activities in the background : thanks to this new function it will now be possible to reduce interruptions by applications that jump to the foreground, either with advertising or ads, while we are doing another activity on the mobile. From now on, applications will no longer be able to launch such announcements while they are in the background, they can only call the attention of the user in case of incoming calls, alarms or notifications classified by the user as “high priority”, which will be the only ones that will appear in full screen.
- Dynamic depth in photos : Android Q launches a new image format, which will save the XMP metadata with the depth of the image next to the JPG, which will allow us to later edit the depth of our photos. Of course, this novelty is related to the famous portrait mode that little by little begins to be present in more smartphones.
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- Limited access to user data : as we see, Android Q has a new special focus on privacy and this new feature will limit something that had been criticized in Android: that was the possibility of accessing device identifiers, such as IMEI or serial number, as well as other private data. Also, from now on, the MAC address of the device can be changed randomly when it is connected to different Wi-Fi networks, although this can be deactivated if the user so wishes.
- Improved support for folding devices : last November, Android releasedsupport for folding screens, but now in Android Q this improves, since it is extended to applications and functions such as onResume and onPause. Also, if we are using the big screen with two or more applications, now support for simultaneous notifications is added. Finally, developers will now have a new tool to test how their application looks on these devices, both on a small screen with different resolutions and on an extended screen.
- And much more : Google Android Q in its first beta also releases new features mainly focused on developers or improving the overall system experience. For example, the ‘share’ menu is also improved, in the configuration panel, new modes for WiFi, new API 1.2 for neural networks and improvements in the performance of the ART application execution environment.
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Android Q beta 1: compatible devices
Here there are no surprises, Google did not want to get into trouble and the first beta of Android Q will only be available for Pixel smartphones :
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
- Official Android emulator
For those interested in trying Google Android Q beta 1, they should only go to the developers website to download it or register for the Android Beta Program and wait for the OTA update to reach the device.
Android Q roadmap
According to Google , for this year they have more defined plans regarding the release and testing of Android Q, with a view to having the launch of six beta versions before announcing the final version of the operation, and its name, during the third quarter of the year.
Betas 2, 3 and 4 are scheduled for the beginning of each month (April, May and June), and then change the rate of publication until reaching the final version of Android Q in the fall .
- Beta 1 (initial version, beta)
- Beta 2 (update, beta)
- Beta 3 (update, beta)
- Beta 4 (Final APIs and official SDK, opening for compatible apps in Play Store, beta)
- Beta 5 (candidate for the trial version)
- Beta 6 (candidate for final version)
- Final version published in AOSP and ecosystem
In the case of this beta 1, the goal is to publicize the first details of Android Q and to be able to receive comments about the stability of the platform and compatibility of the applications. In future betas we will see more news as well as support for new devices from other manufacturers.