Currently, the current Android operating system is Android Pie, but that will soon change. This is what we already know about Android Q that we can expect in August this year.
The appearance of a new Android operating system is currently on an annual schedule and this is also the case for this now tenth version. Anyone who is familiar with the Google Android development process, suddenly has a much better view of their way of working.
A new Android, how does that work?
Google divides its Android year into two parts. There is the initial development process that takes place behind closed doors and starts after the previous version is completed. Calculate for this that this takes about six months (from August), although in reality that is more because there is probably some overlap between the different versions. Anyway, we can always expect a first beta version for developers in March. This is indeed limited to Google’s Nexus and Pixel devices. The feedback from this Beta 1 is collected and then results in improvements for the second, third and fourth public beta. These appear at the beginning of April, May and June respectively. At the time of this fourth beta, we can expect all incremental updates to be present, so testers have full access to all the new options that the emerging operating system has to offer. However, it does not stop there, because there is also a fifth and sixth beta, the so-called ‘release candidates’. Release candidates are versions that are essentially in order to be distributed to the general public. All new functions are present and there are few or no bugs and crashes anymore. Consider beta 5 as finishing an important document that you save with the mention “final” in the title. Finally, Beta 6 is the version in which that one minor error was also removed and was given the name v2.0.
Now that we have an idea of the way in which Android Q is born, we can take a look at the new functionalities that we can expect in the next operating system. At the moment of writing, we have a view of Beta 1 and 2 and there are quite a few pleasant additions. Android Q focuses on, how can it be different at the moment, privacy and ease of use. The first addition in a long line is the modified menu that allows you to share content more easily via certain apps and in a way that makes this as smooth as possible. This way developers can add shortcuts to the menu to share with which you can start actions immediately. Another addition that will save you a lot of time is the one that allows apps to adjust system settings from within the app itself,
Think of switching off airplane mode or switching on mobile data and WiFi directly from your browser. You can also expect a number of innovations in terms of volume control. Currently you can adjust the volume with the side buttons of your device and the most important thing at that moment is automatically selected. With a telephone call the volume is adjusted, with music your media volume and so on. However, the pop-up that appears on your screen allows you to immediately adjust all individual sliders of your choice in Android Q instead of first having to go to the settings menu and make the changes there.
Another change and one that will undoubtedly be loved is the ability to swipe the home button in Android Q to switch apps, an experience iOS users will undoubtedly recognize. Now that we are still swiping, we can also set how we want to do that with regard to notifications. If you prefer to swipe them left or right to remove them, you can now set that and you will see the menu if you swipe them in the other direction.
Those who mainly use their smartphone to send messages will be happy to hear that Google has borrowed from Facebook Messenger and has taken over the chat bubbles (and simply calls them ‘Bubbles’), circular icons with the profile image of your contact person. You can use this in Android Q for all apps that want to offer support for this, a very good addition to, for example, WhatsApp or the built-in SMS app, because currently you still have to navigate to the app to communicate unless you want a conversation via your notifications of course.
Your Google account will also play a greater role in Android Q and will be integrated into the settings of your device as standard. This is done in a subtle way, since your profile image is displayed in the search bar of the options menu. If you tap it quickly, you will get access to information about your account (device info, payment methods, etc.) and the option to further manage your account from there. This is currently possible via a separate settings menu, but it is just a little too well hidden there.
Those who like to give their own touch to their operating system, can really enjoy themselves in Android Q thanks to the addition of accent colors. You have the choice between blue, purple, green and black and on top of that you can also change the standard font and the shape of the icons on the home screen if desired. At the top you can now also display the estimated time when your battery will be discharged, which in some cases may be more useful than a percentage.
Another addition and one that was enthusiastically received by our editors is that of a dark mode for your entire operating system. Currently Google is still working hard on this, but the intention is to be able to provide every app from Android itself with a dark mode, so that your user experience is the same at all possible times. App is changed rather quickly and although dark modes have recently become increasingly popular, they are only really useful if you can use them during your full use.
However, it does not stop here, for example, Android Q will also make it easier to share Wi-Fi passwords through a QR code. In the past this was already possible by printing a QR code, but now it is also simply between two phones. Furthermore, you will now see an emergency button appear when the on / off button pushes in which you can easily contact the emergency services.
Finally, as mentioned, you can also find a lot of new privacy settings in Android Q. This makes it easier to indicate per app what information you want to share, you can decide for yourself what you want to show on your screen when the phone is encrypted and you can limit the use of location data to those times when the app is actually active (and therefore not working in the background).
Looking forward to August
Whether it will eventually become Android Quiche or Queso (after all all Android versions are named after desserts and other sweets) is questionable, but it is certain that we will all save a lot of time with this new version in a safe way. If you have a Google Pixel yourself, you can try the update yourself at google.com/android/beta. Please note that this is only recommended for advanced users because there is a high risk that your device will crash and / or files may be lost on your device. So at least back up your files before you try this. If you are not too curious, then we recommend that you simply wait until the release in August, although you have to take into account that not all Android devices from day 1 after the launch will have the new operating system available, because this depends on the manufacturer. With the flagships of Samsung, for example, this will go very quickly, but they too depend on the approval of Google to be allowed to give their own spin to the system. In other words, patience is a beautiful virtue.