In early March, Google released the first Android Q beta builds. A couple weeks later, the second beta was released, right on schedule, adding a new notification feature called Bubbles. It is said there will be 6 beta updates before a major release. This version is yet to be named.

Beta program is open for early adopters and developers. As known fact, Beta updates are not for everyone. They may contain lot of bugs and if you can manager then then opt-in for Beta-Program.

Signup for Beta Program

Go to Android Beta Program and signup with your Google Account. If that Google Account is associated with any of the below mentioned devices then you can receive Beta updates. You need to be careful to opt-in and out of Beta updates. Read instructions mentioned in the page where you have signup for Beta Program.

Devices getting Android Q - Beta

  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL

No of Beta updates before major release

You will see a total of 6 minor updates before the final version gets out. 2 off the 6 have already reached out and 4 remained. We can expect each Beta in successive months with last two in Q3 of this year. Already two Beta updates have released in early March and April. We can expect other updates in the early days of coming months.

ANDROID Q - FEATURES

As known, Google is trying to add new features with each version of Android. Compared to previous versions, Q is different and we can expect many new features. With two Beta updates we have the below features for the upcoming Android version.

Settings Panels

Android Q introduces Settings Panels, an API which allows apps to show settings in the app itself. This helps users from going (each time) into Settings to change things like NFC or Mobile data.

Settings Panel: WiFi Settings Part -1
Google.com

Figure 1: The user tries to open a web page while the device is not connected to the network. Chrome pops up the Internet Connectivity settings panel...

Settings Panels: WiFi settings part -2
Google

Figure 2. The user can turn on Wi-Fi and select a network without leaving the Chrome app.

Sharing Improvements: Content Preview

When an app shares content, it can show an optional preview of the content in the Sharesheet UI. The preview can have a title, an image, or both.

Share Improvement: Content Preview
Google

Bubble Notifications

This is similar to Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads, Bubbles will display small circular, floating alerts on top of other Apps. Users need to make changes to each app that wants to use Bubbles as a notification method, so your screen shouldn't be overrun with alerts from every app you have installed. When the device is locked or the always-on-display is active, bubbles appear just as a notification normally would.

Bubble Notifications in Android Q
zdnet

App Permissions

This is already discussed in Permissions Usage with its pop-up's. In the early January we knew Android Q will be a Security and Privacy update. Strengthening that Android Q focuses on Privacy of a user. It helps user in giving permissions like Location, Microphone, Camera and others to each App separately and cleanly. There are also finer controls for file management, restricting access to device identifiers such as the IMEI, serial number, and other IDs that can help track a user.

Additions in Developer Options

There are mostly useful to the developers who play with Developer options. We have Native MIDI API: communicate with MIDI devices through the NDK, ANGLE on Vulkan: a project in the Chrome organisation that layers ES on top of Vulkan, instead of using the vendor-provided ES driver, Neural Networks API 1.2.

Now scan of a Bar-code can add a new Wi-Fi connection

Connecting to a Wi-Fi that has a long password sometime causes inconvenience. Especially when a user has small screen device. Now we do not need to worry. Just a simple scan of the bar-code can connect Wi-Fi. Isn't it a better way to connect to internet? More on this will be posted later.

Along with those there are many other features relating to Connectivity, Camera, Media, Graphics and Audio and Video Codecs.