Google, on Thursday, finally announced the name of their next Android version, pulling one over on those of us who were wondering what dessert name began with Q.
Android Q, as it was affectionately called, is now officially Android 10. The build comes with a new logo and new font, but there are also several upgrades, tweaks and new features that come along with it. Here are some of them.
Android 10 lets you change your phone’s theme to ‘Dark’, both in the system’s UI and the apps. The dark mode also helps with the phone’s battery life, as it requires significantly less power. You can also change the theme of an app separately when it is running.
You might not need a password to connect to WiFi anymore. A QR code will suffice. Dubbed ‘Easy Connect’, the new system lets you create a QR code that others can use to access your WiFi.
Android 10 lets two apps on your phone record or listen to audio at the same time. “Before Android Q the input audio stream could only be captured by one app at a time,” Google writes in their developers’ forum. “Once an app started to capture audio, all other apps had no way to access the audio input until the capturing app stopped.”
But now, you might be able to get two applications listen to audio input at the same time. For instance, you could, depending on privacy settings and permissions, use the voice recorder app while also speaking to Google assistant. In addition, the upgrade also has something called the AudioPlaybackCapture API (Application Programming Interface), which lets you capture audio from another app that is playing. This used to be a feature restricted to video, but now there is an audio option as well.
The Thermal API lets apps know the state of the chipsets and processors in the phone. If the apps detect that the phone has warmed up, they can make changes to how they function in order to bring the temperature down and restore optimum performance. “When the device reports thermal stress, apps and games can help by backing off ongoing activities to reduce power usage on various ways,” Google says.
You might not have to jump through multiple pages to get to the phone settings you want. Settings Panels lets you access phone settings that are contextual to the app that you currently have open. For example, if you’re on Chrome and there’s no connectivity, Chrome will automatically open the Connectivity settings panel on your page, instead of you having to juggle the Chrome and the Settings app to get what you want.
Bubbles are notifications ‘bubbles’ that will now pop up on your screen, even when you are using other applications. They are designed for multitasking, but the feature can also be turned off if you don’t like it.
Android 10 has new permissions access that “gives users more control over app access to device location”, according to Google. You can tweak location permissions in such a way that an app can access your location only when the app is being used. That is, the app cannot access it when it is running in background.
There are several tweaks to privacy controls, one of the foremost being that apps cannot launch by themselves. Now, applications need a user’s permission to launch, as opposed to when apps could automatically launch without user interaction. Android 10 also restricts apps from accessing the contents of the phone’s screen. Any apps that need to access the phone screen will now need additional, on-the-go permission.
There are several foldable phones out there in the market — Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s Mate X and more. Android 10 offers support for application developers to develop apps specifically for such devices, even with different folding patterns. The support addresses the app’s resizing, screen ratios, multi window functions, display cutouts and more.