Google has made the first Android Q beta available to Pixel phone owners. We’re still very early in the development of the next version of Android, but the beta should nonetheless give those who install it a hint about what to expect from the final version.
As this is the first beta—Google plans to release six in total—there could be bugs and issues in the software. Because of this, you probably shouldn’t install it on your main phone.
What changes does the Android Q beta bring?
Google has shared a number of features that will come with the Android Q beta. Especially prominent are those regarding privacy and security. Here are some of the highlights:
- The ability to choose whether to give apps location data all the time, only while the app is in use, or never.
- A new sharing shortcut menu that lets users jump directly into other apps to share content.
- More control over which apps have access to shared files.
- Apps will be prevented from launching an activity while in the background. If an app needs to launch (such as an alarm) developers will be able to use a high profile notification to get the user’s attention.
- Developers will be able to use the new Settings Panel API to let users manage system settings in-app. For example, a browser could show a panel that displays internet connectivity settings.
- Developers will be able to access depth information in photos. This could let app makers create specialized bokeh effects, 3D images, or support AR photography.
- Improvements to onResume and onPause will help app developers optimize their apps for foldable devices.
- Developers can request adaptive Wi-Fi by enabling high performance and low latency modes. Google says this will help apps that benefit from low latency, such as games. There will also be changes made to improve Wi-Fi security, such as the addition of WPA3 and Enhanced Open support.
These are just some of the changes coming to Android Q. We’re going to release our own article about how to install the beta program tomorrow, so stay tuned for more information.