Android Q beta is now available for Pixel devices

Ruben Fields
March 15, 2019

While this release is available for any user with a Pixel device, it is meant for developers to test compatibility issues and iron out bugs in the new operating system.

Google will announce more Android Q features at Google I/O 2019 in May where it is also expected to announce some new Assistant related features.

There's no guarantee these will make it into the final build of Android Q, mind you - Google teased a dark mode in previous versions of Android, only to pull them in the final release - but a man can dream.

Apps will also find it harder to gain access to things such as photos, videos, and audio. And although Google already listed some of the new features, it is yet to officially mention some of the hidden features. So far, two less powerful devices dubbed the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite have been leaked and discussed several times.

Similar to iOS, now Android users have the ability to prevent apps from using the location while running in the background. Google is making it easier for apps to use depth data by allowing apps to request a JPEG + Dynamic Depth image, allowing them to offer different kinds of blur effects. Rather than bounce users between a smart speaker app and the settings menu, the pop-up would provide direct access to the setting an app require changes or permissions to, all while remaining within the app's interface.

The sketch is quite simple and there have been similar sketches leaked for a slew of other equally anticipated smartphones in the past
The sketch is quite simple and there have been similar sketches leaked for a slew of other equally anticipated smartphones in the past

Google has introduced us to its latest flavor of Android, which will be known as Android Q until the tech giant picks a dessert starting with the said letter. However, I must wonder what delicious dessert will Android Q be named after?

There have been some under-the-hood changes to Wi-Fi in Android Q, which Google says will make it faster and more secure to connect to other devices - handy if you've got a house full of smart home tech that needs controlling via app.

The second and more courageous option to try the new Android is manually flashing the Android Q factory images. A desktop mode, allowing Android apps to run in a windowed format similar to a PC or Mac, was also present.

The major barrier to testing the new version of Android is having the right phone in the first place. You can then enroll in the Android Q beta here, and download the beta onto your phone or use a system image to update it. Be warned: this is unstable beta software.

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