Android Q: What we know so far


Do you have Android Pie? We don’t have Android Pie yet (few in SA do) but we’ve already got some idea of what the as-yet unnamed successor Android Q will entail. Like smartphone leaks, keeping secrets about Google’s next mobile operating system instalment is tough to do. In this case, those intrepid folks from the XDA Developer’s Forum have managed to get their hands on an early version of the OS. This is what they’ve found out so far.

Going dark

For 2019, if you don’t have a dark mode, you don’t have anything. Apple’s doing it, WhatsApp’s doing it… Windows has always done it, if you could be bothered with installing some kinda theme. The early version of Google’s OS has a dark mode of a sort, that lets users tone down the brightness to something that’ll retain some of your night vision if you check your notifications around 2AM. There’s even a setting that will force apps that don’t support it to go darker — whether they like it or not. We’ll see what the final form of this one looks like when there’s a broader preview.

Watch this (later)

Want to show your technologically-challenged olds exactly how to do something on their shiny new Android but don’t feel like explaining processes over the phone for three hours? Android Q might help. Screen recording will come to the new OS, and will let you capture animated processes in a similar manner to snapping screenshots. Cue showing the folks exactly how to get to their keyboard settings and them still mucking it up. But only a little, because they’ve been showed and not told.

Setting limits

Apps that ask for permissions are supposed to make you feel safer but when an image editing app wants to know your location, we’d start asking questions. Android Q will give users more control over location permissions specifically, including the ability to limit location access to an app only while it’s running rather than all… the… bloody… time. Facebook might not like that one much but… meh.


Something else new that was noticed in the early version of Q? The ability for mobile service providers (carriers, in the States) to lock a phone to a specific network using your SIM. That’s not much of a problem here in South Africa, where very few handsets are sold locked to a network, but folks in the US might have a little trouble moving from one carrier to another via the “Carrier restriction enhancements for Android Q” commits found in the early code. It’s probably not an issue here but it’s something to keep in mind.

The name?

Pictured: Not the hard-to-name Q

Look, you might have some clever idea about what sort of sweet foodstuff starts with the letter Q. Us? We’re a little stumped on that one. We’ve seen suggestions popping up online but most are too unwieldy to work as a moniker. This may turn out to be the largest surprise (if Google gets the naming right, obvs).

Timing could be better

When can we expect to see the first early (but official) versions of Android Q? Pocket-lint reports that a March 2019 reveal for a preview of the OS seems likely and that sounds right. Developers get it first and then, a little later in the year, the public get their shot at breaking it (and possibly their phones as well) in. A full release will follow later in the year. Meanwhile, we’re still sitting here waiting for Android Pie to drop from Samsung and friends’ cavernous digital maw. Hurry it up, guys.

Source, (most) images: XDA Developer’s Forum


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