Google releases the first builds of Android Q

Ruben Fields
March 14, 2019

In keeping with its pattern of a March release for the last several years, Google has as of this afternoon launched the first developer preview of the next major version of Android - giving developers and early adopters a look at what's coming via a beta that's being made available for even more devices this time around.

Of course, given that this is only the first Q Beta, this could be a bug and not a new attribute of Q. Here's hoping that Google adds the percentage back above the quick settings for those of us who don't have the status bar percentage turned on.

Numerous previously announced features for foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold are also built into Android Q. For developers, that means supporting new paused and resumed states that allow multiple apps to work on a larger display. The handsets supported are Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL along with the official Android emulator.

Have a Google Pixel smartphone that you brought onto T-Mobile's network? Google is also enabling Android Q to prevent apps from launching an activity while in the background, meaning that an app won't be able to just jump to the foreground and take over your focus. In the past, you could either grant or deny location access for an app, but there was no in between.

Android Q Beta 1 is also primarily intended for developers to start testing their apps for the new release, but you can take a dive too if you don't mind things being unstable and buggy at times. This makes it possible for the apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options, create 3D images, or support AR photography use-cases. Others are more nuanced quality-of-life refinements, like improved shortcuts to make sharing content between apps easier and faster.

Device location access
Device location access

You can use floating display windows to adjust settings while in an app. Developers can choose which settings to feature.

To be clear, Google has not and never has placed specific dates for dropping software updates, but we do have a general idea of how the next few months will play out in the beta program.

Developers will be able to publish targets in the Sharing Shortcuts interface in advance, which allows them to load instantly when launched by a user.

Android Q is a beta and as such, it's likely buggy. There will also be a high performance, low latency mode for Wi-Fi which could prove handy for real-time gaming, active voice calls, and the likes.

Now for the important question...

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