Android Q Beta: New Features, Release Dates and How to Get It

James Marshall
March 17, 2019

Android Q, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system has been announced and you can get it now if you don't mind using the developer preview.

Android Q beta 1 is not available for everyone and limited to Pixel smartphones. The stable version of Android Q will arrive later this year along with the new Pixel devices.

Google wants the AI in your Android phone to be even smarter. After signing up, you'll receive an over-the-air update to download and install Q. The beta page doesn't appear to be functional quite yet, but that should change soon.

It will also randomise a device's hardware MAC address when connecting to different Wi-Fi networks - an Android 9 setting that will become the default. To be clear, this just refers to the first developer preview, which means it's primarily for developers because they're probably the only ones who can deal with the risks associated with using unfinished software.

If you have an "always on" mode activated on your Pixel phone, you'll notice that Android Q displays what's now playing (if anything actually is playing), whether it's a track from Spotify or a podcast episode. "You may also encounter issues restoring a backup". The OTA files and factory images for the first public Android Q beta have gone live now.

Battery remaining on Android Q. Android Police.

One cool new feature we like is the ability to share Wi-Fi network details with a QR code: instead of having to read a list of letters and numbers on the back of your router, your friends can just scan a QR code generated on your phone.

Settings panel: With Android Q, the user will be able to see the system settings directly inside the app. However there's already plenty for developers - and risk-taking early-adopter users - to get their teeth into with the Android Q beta. Now Google is adding much-requested theming features.

Nowadays with so many apps pushing out notifications one after the other it isn't easy to track which one is the latest.

Furthermore, the operating system now gives owners the option to let applications access the device's location "only when the app is in use" rather than all the time.

If history repeats itself, most of the consumer-facing features coming in Android Q should be unveiled at the Google I/O conference in May.

There is a new freeform windows feature which allows users to create a window of any app and they can use it anywhere on screen even after closing that app.

Other extras include faster sharing of content, improved settings and dynamic depth format for photos which should improve bokeh-style effects. It could be enabled for all users in the future beta versions. It supports AV1 video codec to offer high-quality video streaming while consuming less bandwidth. Right now, Android supports 32-bit and 64-bit apps, but that will soon change.

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