Google releases the first builds of Android Q

Google releases the first builds of Android Q

We heard rumours earlier in the week that the Android Q Beta will be available on a wide array of devices. You can grab download links for each phone from Google's website. Android Q places a focus on privacy, like with its new location data setting that'll let you choose whether an app can access your location all the time, only while the app is in use, or deny location access completely. When you get a notificaion, Android will display a little "Notification Bell" icon next to the message, alerting you that it's a brand new notification.

Starting with Android Q, app developers can access depth information - the XMP (a metadata standard for files) data containing depth information and depth and confidence data (map containing details of distance of objects from the camera lens) from supported hardware cameras - along with the final compressed JPEG file of the photos captured on your phone. If you have one of those, you can head to Google's Android Preview site here. "You can get started with Beta 1 today by enrolling any Pixel device, including the original Pixel and Pixel XL, which we've extended support for by popular demand". As we've discovered in the past, initial builds of new Android versions can have various issues, so we recommend not flashing this software onto your daily driver. In addition to this, apps will be prevented in Android Q to launch Activity while running in the background.

There's also new runtime permission which lets users control app access to Videos, Photos, Audio, and other files.

Device location access
Device location access

In its blog, Google talks about how Android has been made keeping security and privacy at the centre with things like OS controls, file-based encryption, Google Play Protect, and more. This is a first for Google as the company only allowed OTAs of Android betas in the later stages when it had become more stable. But the Android Q Beta is meant for developers and early adopters.

The option might also be activated from within individual apps, requiring developers to make use of a new API to enable the setting. At the other end of the scale, there's a Wi-Fi performance mode to increase speed and lower latency at the expense of battery life. In the video department, Android Q will make it easier for apps to figure out the video rendering capabilities of an Android device.

Fortunately for me, Android is smart, and manages to keep notifications it deems important bubbled up to the top of my list.

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