Android Q beta is available now with new features for Google Pixel
The new Android OS has major upgrades to privacy and security.
Patrick HollandManaging Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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brings "a number of additional privacy and security features," Google said in a blog post, as well as new camera capabilities, faster app startup, enhancements for foldable devices, and more.
Android Q lets developers manage how their app is displayed on foldable and large screens. This includes everything from how apps are resized to how apps are muted when not active.
JPEG + Dynamic Depth
Many phones have a portrait mode that blurs the background of a subject in a photo. The depth-mapping data used to create the effect is discarded after the photo is rendered. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to use that depth data to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options. Developers can also use Dynamic Depth data to create 3D images and AR photography.
The new Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus were the first
to feature HDR10+ a high dynamic range format for displays. Android Q has HDR10+ for phones and
that support it. Android Q will also be able to handle AV1 a video codec that allows for higher quality streaming video that uses less bandwidth.
Faster app launches
Since Nougat, opening apps has gotten faster as Android learned which parts of an apps code is used frequently. Now with Android Q, Google apps can launch immediately. Developers can use Android Q to process app data earlier and then move it to a security container, so it's ready to launch.
Android Q improves connections to IoT devices like smart
and printers. This can be especially helpful when managing connected devices.
Setting panels for apps
There's no need for you to leave an to make adjustments. You can manage settings from a floating settings panel that offers up specific functions used by the app you're in. For example, Google Chrome's display panel might have connectivity settings like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi and data.
You'll have more control over apps and their access to shared files. This is one of the biggest updates to Android. You can also control an app's access to the Photos and Videos. For Downloads, you can decide which Download files an app can access.
Limit location sharing
You have more control over location settings and permissions. When prompted to give apps permission to see your location you can choose: never, only when the app is running, or all the time -- even in the background. So if you are using a ride share app you can let it track your location while it's in use, but forbid the app accessing your location data when not.
Faster sharing shortcuts
Developers will be able to publish targets in the Sharing Shortcuts interface in advance, which allows them to load instantly when launched by a user.
Wi-Fi performance mode
Android Q offers high-performance and low-latency modes for wireless connections. This will be a boon for real-time gaming and improved voice calls.
Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID. It also adds specific flows for implicit and explicit authentication. Android Q updates transport layer security to TLS 1.3, which Google claims can establish a secured connection 40 percent faster than TLS 1.2.
Up-to-date Android apps
To allow apps to have the most current security and performance features, Android Q will warn you when it installs a new app targeting Android Marshmallow or older. This summer the Google Play store will require all apps to have 64-bit support.