Android 10 is the tenth major release and the 17th version of the Android mobile operating system. It was released on September 3, 2019.

Android 10
A version of the Android operating system
Android 10 logo 2019.svg
Android Q Beta6 screenshot.png
Android 10 home screen with Pixel Launcher
OS familyAndroid
September 3, 2019; 5 months ago (2019-09-03)
Latest release10 (QQ1D.200205.002)[1] / February 3, 2020; 7 days ago (2020-02-03)
Preceded byAndroid 9.0 "Pie"
Official website
Support status


Google released the first beta of Android 10 under the preliminary name "Android Q" on March 13, 2019, exclusively on their Pixel phones, including the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL devices where support was extended due to popular demand.[3] Having been guaranteed updates only up to October 2018, the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL devices received version updates to Android 10. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were included, after being granted an extended warranty period which guaranteed Android version updates for them for at least 3 years from when they were first available on the Google Store.[4][5] A total of six beta or release-candidate versions were released before the final release.[6][7]

The beta program was expanded with the release of Beta 3 on May 7, 2019, being made available on 14 partner devices from 11 OEMs; twice as many devices compared to Android Pie's beta.[8] Beta access was removed from the Huawei Mate 20 Pro on May 21, 2019 due to U.S. government sanctions,[9] but was later restored on May 31.[10]

Google released Beta 4 on June 5, 2019 with the finalized Android "Q" APIs and SDK (API Level 29).[11] Dynamic System Updates (DSU) were also included in Beta 4. The Dynamic System Update allows Android "Q" devices to temporarily install a Generic System Image (GSI) to try a newer version of Android on top of their current Android version. Once users decide to end testing the chosen GSI image, they can simply reboot their device and boot back into their normal device's Android version.[12]

Google released Beta 5 on July 10, 2019 with the final API 29 SDK as well as the latest optimizations and bug fixes.[13] Google released Beta 6, the final release candidate for testing, on August 7, 2019.[14][15]

On August 22, 2019, it was announced that Android "Q" would officially be branded as Android 10, ending the practice of naming major versions after desserts. Google stated that these names were not "inclusive" to international users (due either to the aforementioned foods not being internationally known, or being difficult to pronounce in some languages). Android VP of engineering Dave Burke did reveal during a podcast that, in addition, most desserts beginning with "Q" were "exotic", and that he personally would have chosen "queen cake". He also noted that there were references to "qt"—an abbreviation of "quince tart", within internal files and build systems relating to the release.[16][17][18] The statue for the release is likewise the numeral 10, with the Android robot logo (which, as part of an accompanying rebranding, has also been changed to only consist of a head) resting inside the numeral "0".[19]

Android Q emblem

Android 10 was officially released on September 3, 2019 for supported Google Pixel devices, as well as the third-party Essential Phone and Redmi K20 Pro in selected markets.[20][21] The OnePlus 7T was the first device with Android 10 pre-installed.[22] In October 2019, it was reported that Google's certification requirements for Google Mobile Services will only allow Android 10-based builds to be approved after January 31, 2020.[23]



Android 10 introduces a revamped full-screen gesture system, with gestures such as swiping from either side edge of the display to go back, swiping up to go to the home screen, swiping up and holding to access Overview, swiping diagonally from a bottom corner of the screen to activate the Google Assistant, and swiping along the gesture bar at the bottom of the screen to switch apps. The use of an edge swiping gesture as a "Back" command was noted as potentially causing conflicts with apps that utilize sidebar menus and other functions accessible by swiping. An API can be used by apps to opt out of handling a back gesture within specific areas of the screen, a sensitivity control was added for adjusting the size of the target area to activate the gesture, and Google later stated that the drawer widget would support being "peeked" by long-pressing near the edge of the screen, and then swiped open. The traditional three-key navigation system used since Android "Honeycomb" remains supported as an option.[24][25]

Per Google certification requirements, OEMs are required to support Android 10's default gestures and three-key navigation. OEMs are free to add their own gestures alongside them. However, they must not be enabled by default, they must be listed in a separate area one level deeper than other navigation settings, and they cannot be promoted using notifications. The two-key gesture navigation system used on Android Pie is deprecated, and may not be included on devices that ship with Android 10. However, it can still be included as an option for continuity purposes on devices upgraded from Pie.[26]

User experienceEdit

A feature known as "bubbles" can be used to present content from supported apps in pop-up overlays (similarly to the overlay-based "chat heads" feature of Facebook Messenger). Apps can spawn bubbles via notifications. Example use cases for the feature include chat and messaging apps, reminders, and "ongoing tasks and updates".[27] Bubbles is designed to replace the existing overlay permission, which is being deprecated due to security (due to its use by clickjacking malware) and performance concerns. Sideloaded apps will automatically lose their overlay permission after 30 seconds, and apps from Play Store will lose their overlay permission each time the device is rebooted. Android 10 Go Edition forbids use of overlay permissions entirely.[28][29]

Android 10 includes a system-level dark mode. Third-party apps can automatically engage a dark mode when it's active.[30][31]

Apps can also present "settings panels" for specific settings (such as, for example, internet connection and Wi-Fi settings if an app requires internet) via overlay panels, so that the user does not have to be taken outside of the app in order to configure them.[32]

Privacy and securityEdit

Several major security and privacy changes are present in Android 10: apps can be restricted by users to only having access to location data when they are actively being used in the foreground.[33] There are also new restrictions on the launching of activities by background apps.[34]

In February 2019, Google unveiled Adiantum, an encryption cipher designed primarily for use on devices that do not have hardware-accelerated support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), such as low-end devices. Google stated that this cipher was five times faster than AES-256-XTS on an ARM Cortex-A7 CPU. Therefore, device encryption is now mandatory on all Android 10 devices, regardless of specifications, using Adiantum if their CPU is not capable of hardware-accelerated AES.[35][36] In addition, implementation of "file-based encryption" (first introduced in Android Nougat) is also mandatory for all devices.[37]

On devices shipping with Android 10, security patches for selected system components (such as ANGLE, Conscrypt, media frameworks, networking components, and others) may be serviced via Google Play Store, without requiring a complete system update ("Project Mainline"). In order to license Google mobile services, manufacturers must support these updates for specific modules, while the remainder are marked as "recommended" but optional. Selected modules within this system use the new APEX package format, a variation of APK files designed for housing and servicing low-level system components.[38][39]

A major change to storage access permissions known as "Scoped storage" is supported on Android 10, and will become mandatory for all apps beginning with Android 11. Apps are only allowed to access files in external storage that they had created themselves (preferably contained within an app-specific directory), and audio, image, and video files contained within the Music, Pictures, or Videos directories. Any other file may only be accessed via user intervention through the Storage Access Framework.[40][41]

Apps must have a new "read privileged phone state" permission in order to read non-resettable device identifiers, such as IMEI number.[42]

TLS 1.3 support is also enabled by default.[43]


Platform optimizations have been made for foldable smartphones, including app continuity when changing modes, changes to multi-window mode to allow all apps to run simultaneously (rather than only the actively-used app running, and all others being considered "paused"), and additional support for multiple displays.[44]

"Direct Share" has been succeeded by "sharing shortcuts". As before, it allows apps to return lists of direct targets for sharing (such as a combination of an app and a specific contact) for use within share menus. Unlike Direct Share, apps publish their targets in advance and do not have to be polled at runtime, improving performance.[45][46]

Native support has been added for MIDI controllers, the AV1 video codec, the Opus audio codec, and HDR10+.[3] There is also a new standard API for retrieving depth information from camera photos, which can be used for more advanced effects.[32] Native support for aptX Adaptive, LHDC, LLAC, CELT and AAC LATM codecs was added as well.[47][48]

Android 10 supports WPA3 encryption protocol and Enhanced Open, which introduce opportunistic encryption for Wi-Fi.[3] Android 10 adds support for Dual-SIM dual-standby (DSDS), but is initially only available on the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.[49]

Android 10 Go Edition has performance improvements, with Google stating that apps would launch 10% quicker than on Pie.[50]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Android Source". Google Git. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Bohn, Dieter (September 3, 2019). "Android 10 officially released for Google Pixel phones". The Verge.
  3. ^ a b c Burke, Dave (March 13, 2019). "Introducing Android Q Beta". Android Developers Blog. Google. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "Learn when you'll get Android updates on Pixel phones & Nexus devices". Pixel Phone Help. Google. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Welch, Chris (October 7, 2017). "The new Pixels will get an added year of software and new features". The Verge. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  6. ^ "Program Overview". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Hager, Ryne. "Android Q timeline: Six betas planned, final release in Q3". Android Police. Illogical Robot LLC. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Burke, Dave (May 7, 2019). "What's New in Android: Q Beta 3 & More". Android Developers Blog. Google. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  9. ^ "Huawei Mate 20 Pro pulled from the Android 10 Q beta program". Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Huawei Mate 20 Pro is back on the Android Q Beta program". Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "Android Q Beta 4 and Final APIs!". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  12. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (June 5, 2019). "Android Q Beta 4: Dynamic System Updates are live". 9to5Google. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  13. ^ "Google releases Android Q Beta 5 with several gestural navigation tweaks". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Timeline and Updates". Android Developer Website. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "Final Beta update, official Android Q coming soon!".
  16. ^ "Google Reveals the Dessert Name Android Q Was Most Likely to Have". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  17. ^ Bohn, Dieter (August 22, 2019). "Google deserts desserts: Android 10 is the official name for Android Q". The Verge. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Amadeo, Ron (August 22, 2019). "Unsweetened: Android swaps sugary codenames for boring numbers". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  19. ^ Friedman, Alan. "Google keeps up with one tradition related to the new Android build". Phone Arena. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (September 3, 2019). "The Essential Phone is already being updated to Android 10". The Verge. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  21. ^ Bohn, Dieter (September 3, 2019). "Android 10 officially released for Google Pixel phones". The Verge. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  22. ^ "OnePlus 7T Review". GSMArena. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  23. ^ "Google will require all devices launched after January 31, 2020 to run Android 10". Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  24. ^ Bohn, Dieter (August 8, 2019). "Android Q's back gesture controversy, explained". The Verge. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  25. ^ "[Update: OEM Gestures Allowed] Google's new navigation gestures in Android Q will be mandatory for all devices". xda-developers. May 9, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Schoon, Ben (October 7, 2019). "Google is hiding other forms of Android Gesture Navigation". 9to5Google. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  27. ^ Amadeo, Ron (April 3, 2019). "Google's second Android Q Beta brings us "Bubbles" multitasking". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  28. ^ "Android Q steps up the fight against overlay-based malware". Android Police. March 16, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Google will entirely kill the overlay permission in a future Android release". Android Police. May 8, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  30. ^ Cipriani, Jason. "Dark mode apps in Android will change your life". CNET. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  31. ^ Molina, Brett. "Instagram update introduces support for iOS 13 dark mode". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  32. ^ a b "7 tweaks and changes in Android Q that will make your phone better than it is now". PC World. March 13, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  33. ^ Hautala, Laura. "Android Q rethinks how apps request and use your location". CNET. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  34. ^ "Background apps can no longer launch activities in Android Q beta 3". Android Police. May 8, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  35. ^ "Google Improves Android Encryption with Adiantum". SecurityWeek. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  36. ^ Porter, Jon (February 11, 2019). "Google wants to bring encryption to all with Adiantum". The Verge. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  37. ^ "The Android 10 Privacy and Security Upgrades You Should Know About". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  38. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (May 7, 2019). "Project Mainline is Google's new attempt to send security updates directly to your phone". The Verge. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  39. ^ Amadeo, Ron (May 22, 2019). "Android at I/O 2019: The Project Mainline update system and other highlights". Ars Technica. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  40. ^ "Android Q Scoped Storage: Best Practices and Updates". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  41. ^ "Android Q privacy change: Scoped storage". Android Developers. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  42. ^ Cyphers, Bennett (July 24, 2019). "Thank Q, Next". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  43. ^ "What's New in Android Q Security". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  44. ^ "Get your app ready for foldable phones". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  45. ^ Cipriani, Jason. "Android Q Beta 5: Gesture navigation, Live Caption, developer features, and everything we know so far". ZDNet. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  46. ^ Amadeo, Ron (March 13, 2019). "Google launches the next version of Android—Android Q—in beta". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  47. ^ "Audio Implementation". Android Open Source Project. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  48. ^ Yeow, Goh Beng (October 22, 2019). "Android 10 devices are going to sound better with LHDC™". Porta-Fi™. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  49. ^ Li, Abner (September 3, 2019). "Google adds Dual SIM Dual Standby support to Pixel 3a with Android 10". 9TO5Google. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  50. ^ Porter, Jon (September 26, 2019). "Android 10 Go is a faster and more secure update to Google's lightweight OS". The Verge. Retrieved September 26, 2019.

External linksEdit