Android "Q" is the upcoming tenth major release and the 17th version of the Android mobile operating system. It is currently in public beta and the final release of Android Q is scheduled for release in Q3 of 2019.
|A version of the Android operating system|
Android Q home screen with Pixel Launcher
|Latest preview||Q Beta 6 (QPP6.190730.005) / August 7, 2019|
|Preceded by||Android 9.0 "Pie"|
Google released the first beta of 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. A total of six beta or release-candidate versions were released before the final release, which is currently scheduled for the third quarter of 2019.
The beta program was expanded with the release of Beta 3 on May 7, 2019, the beta was available on 14 partner devices from 11 OEMs, twice as many devices compared to Android Pie's beta. Beta access was removed from the Huawei Mate 20 Pro on May 21, 2019 due to U.S. government sanctions, but was later reverted and given access back on May 31.
Google released Beta 4 on June 5, 2019 with the finalized Android Q APIs and SDK (API Level 29). Dynamic System Updates (DSU) were also included in Beta 4. The Dynamic System Update allows Android Q devices to temporarily install a GSI (Generic System Image) 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.
Google released Beta 5 on July 10, 2019 with the final API 29 SDK as well as the latest optimizations and bug fixes. Google released Beta 6, the final release candidate for testing, on August 7, 2019.
Android "Q" 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. Support of these gestures is mandatory, but OEMs are free to add their own gestures alongside these core gestures. The legacy three-key navigation style remains supported. 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.
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". 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. Go Edition forbids use of overlay permissions entirely, 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.
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.
"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.
Privacy and securityEdit
Several major security and privacy changes are present in "Q": apps can be restricted by users to only having access to location data when they are actively being used in the foreground. There are also new restrictions on the launching of activities by background apps.
A major change to storage access permissions known as "Scoped storage" is supported on "Q", and will become mandatory for all apps beginning with the next major Android release in 2020. 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.
- Dynamic depth format for photos, which allow changing background blur after taking a photo
- Support for the AV1 video codec, the HDR10+ video format, and the Opus audio codec
- A native MIDI API, allowing interaction with music controllers
- Better support for biometric authentication in apps[how?]
- Support for the WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol.
- DSDS capabilities for use with eSIM and regular SIM
- "Support and Release Notes". Android Developers Blog. Google. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- "Android Q Beta". Android Developers. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- Burke, Dave (March 13, 2019). "Introducing Android Q Beta". Android Developers Blog. Google. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- "Program Overview". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Hager, Ryne. "Android Q timeline: Six betas planned, final release in Q3". Android Police. Illogical Robot LLC. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Burke, Dave (May 7, 2019). "What's New in Android: Q Beta 3 & More". Android Developers Blog. Google. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- "Huawei Mate 20 Pro pulled from the Android 10 Q beta program". GSMArena.com. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
- "Huawei Mate 20 Pro is back on the Android Q Beta program". GSMArena.com. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "Android Q Beta 4 and Final APIs!". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Bradshaw, Kyle (June 5, 2019). "Android Q Beta 4: Dynamic System Updates are live". 9to5Google. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "Google releases Android Q Beta 5 with several gestural navigation tweaks". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Timeline and Updates". Android Developer Website. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Final Beta update, official Android Q coming soon!".
- Bohn, Dieter (August 8, 2019). "Android Q's back gesture controversy, explained". The Verge. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "[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.
- Amadeo, Ron (April 3, 2019). "Google's second Android Q Beta brings us "Bubbles" multitasking". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Android Q steps up the fight against overlay-based malware". Android Police. March 16, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Google will entirely kill the overlay permission in a future Android release". Android Police. May 8, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Cipriani, Jason. "Dark mode apps in Android will change your life". CNET. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Get your app ready for foldable phones". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Cipriani, Jason. "Android Q Beta 5: Gesture navigation, Live Caption, developer features, and everything we know so far". ZDNet. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Amadeo, Ron (March 13, 2019). "Google launches the next version of Android—Android Q—in beta". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Hautala, Laura. "Android Q rethinks how apps request and use your location". CNET. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Background apps can no longer launch activities in Android Q beta 3". Android Police. May 8, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Android Q Scoped Storage: Best Practices and Updates". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Android Q privacy change: Scoped storage". Android Developers. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Cyphers, Bennett (July 24, 2019). "Thank Q, Next". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Villas-Boas, Antonio. "The upcoming Android Q will make Android more efficient and streamlined than ever, and you can install the beta now". Business Insider. Retrieved March 15, 2019.