Google announces Android Q beta for Pixel 1, 2, and 3

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First, though, developers get a chance to play around with the updated OS, as Google released its first Android Q beta today (March 13). There were some tricks developers could use to continue to update their UI while they were not the active app, but an unsupported app would eventually show a stale UI without special developer tweaks.

But in the official Android Q Beta announcement post, Google's VP of Engineering, Dave Burke, revealed that support for the update had been extended to the original Pixel series due to "popular demand". Android Q allows you to fine-tune control over location sharing; when an app asks for your location data, you can select "allow only while the app is in use" or "allow all the time". Permissions as a whole have also been updated with greater control, including things like shared files, photos, etc. However there's already plenty for developers - and risk-taking early-adopter users - to get their teeth into with the Android Q beta. It also assists developers to opt for priority notification.

Other privacy changes include limiting access to information like IMEI and serial numbers or preventing apps from unexpectedly jumping into the foreground.

As for the user-centric features, Android Q introduces Sharing Shortcuts.

Enlarge / "Allow only while the app is in use" is a new option.

There's also a panel in Settings which makes use of Slices in order to show important system settings in third-party applications.

For example, a browser could display a panel with connectivity settings like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi (including nearby networks), and Mobile Data. With support for Android Foldables form factor, the platform will include changes such as onResume and onPause to assist multi-resume and more.

We've also changed how the resizeableActivity manifest attribute works, to help you manage how your app is displayed on foldable and large screens. So average Android users should wait until later this year for a more stable version. Dynamic Depth will be an open format, so it might take off. You should be able to disable or reset your advertising ID without being tracked, and Android Q makes that possible. This data can also be used to create 3D images or support AR photography use cases.

Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID. This aids in providing high-quality video content and reduced bandwidth. There are many other features part of Android Q beta 1 and possibly more will be added in the future beta version of the platform. There are also system images and OTA files available for sideloading. Those may not ultimately make it into Android Q but that will probably depend on how hard the change is to implement, meaning that some fairly substantial reworks might take place before final launch.

This is all for now, folks. Android's painfully slow sharing menu could get a boost, too.

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