Android Q Beta Ready for Pixel Phones

Verizon Google Pixel 3 XL

Like clockwork, Google's released the first beta version of its mobile operating system, Android Q, for developers.

The company walks through in a just-published blog post some of the myriad changes and tweaks coming with this next version of Android, including new security and privacy protections, more location controls, support for foldable screens and more.

Speaking of control, Google's blog post today notes that Android Q gives users more control over things like access to shared files. Thus, you'll be able to unlock your phone and access secure apps like Google Pay on properly equipped phones. Wider device compatibility for some non-Google devices should arrive with the second release. Well, it appears he was serious about making a change, as the first beta of Android Q features a slightly revamped sharing menu that is, in fact, faster and easier to use.

Android Q is also adding Settings Panels to help you quickly enable a specific setting that an app needs.

If you're an end user, some of this stuff won't be very exciting. For a design like the Huawei Mate X, which sports a wraparound display, the phone's single display panel changes from a segmented "front" and "back" display in phone mode to one big display in tablet mode.

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Android Q's new Sharing Shortcut.

Portrait photos are all the rage these days, and in Android Q, Google's taking them to another level with a feature called "dynamic depth". On a single-display device like the Mate X, opening the device will seamlessly switch your session to tablet mode. During that presentation, the feature was called "screen continuity". This includes everything from how apps are resized to how apps are muted when not active. The update will be available to supported devices later this year.

The new Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus were the first phones to feature HDR10+ a high dynamic range format for displays. We'll have to investigate. If you're more experienced, you can also download the Android system image files from Google here and flash them on yourself. Till Kottmann overnight reported on Twitter that he had spotted that Android Beta's "how to provide feedback" page is accessible - also suggesting that the arrival of Android Q Beta is imminent. When an app wants to access your location, you can choose to deny it, allow all the time, or allow only when the app's being used. You can also control apps' access to the Photos and Videos.

Android Q improves connections to IoT devices like appliances and printer.

The share menu in Android has been very bad for a few versions now. When you opened the share list, the feature would begin to query every app on your phone to populate the list while it was already open. Sometimes you had to wait for the app you wanted to pop up; sometimes you would move to tap on something and the icon would jump. The craziest thing? None of this information was saved.

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