Android Q Beta First Look!

Donna Miller
March 15, 2019

Google today released an Android Q beta update.

Google is finally revamping the Share menu in Android Q and making it notably faster.

The UI changes include options to set up accent colors and fonts in developer settings. Android Q has a new feature that lets you create a QR code for your Wi-Fi network, or scan a QR code to join a Wi-Fi network, directly in the device's Wi-Fi settings.

So what shiny new features does Android Q bring along with it?

Google has just released the developer beta for Q, which doesn't even have a name yet. While we continue to dig around and find new, hidden and unannounced goodies, below are five features coming to Android Q worth getting excited about. These aren't something normal users will ever use themselves, but you'll be glad they're there if and when you try out a foldable for yourself.

Huawei and Samsung have both announced devices that can physically fold in half with Mate X and Galaxy Fold launching later this year. This floating settings panel could provide quick access to things like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

A number of camera enhancements will be included in Android Q, including the ability to request a Dynamic Depth image when taking a picture with your smartphone's camera. This saves you from having to deal with spam calls directly. Right now, users can either grant or deny location access to an app which leads to many apps silently tracking the location of their users in the background. You simply long-press, pick an option and you're done.

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With Android Q, there's now a dedicated Privacy section in the settings app.

We can see that privacy will be a major focus in Android Q. Google now treats your location as a special permission that has additional controls for app access.

Thanks to some new codecs, and a developer tool to analyze the capability of the phone an app's installed on, you will enjoy improved video and audio quality on phones running Android Q. So average Android users should wait until later this year for a more stable version. Still, since the feature is there, we might as well take advantage of it to improve upon Android Pie's gestures. Yes, Google has extended the support for the good old smartphone after hearing feedback from many users.

In the same leaked beta from February, there was apparently a system-wide dark mode, which would activate the darker colors in all apps, and recolor apps that didn't have a dark theme built in.

When you have a Pixel to hand, make sure it's not a phone you regularly use.

The Beta 1 is only available for Pixel Devices.

After following the prompts, you'll be able to download the OTA update. Instead of releasing the first beta only for developers, Google is letting anyone sign up and install the beta. Be warned: this is unstable beta software.

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