Android Q will apparently bring improvements to the handling of SIM ports, based on a recent change delivered in the Beta 1 release of the firmware and spotted giving Google's Pixel 3 handset Dual SIM superpowers.
Spotted in the new update's mobile settings and shared via Twitter by Charged's Owen Williams, Android Q seems to be bringing Dual SIM, Dual Active support to Google's Pixel 3 despite the fact that it can't actually use it. The feature would effectively let the device use two SIMs simultaneously, for example with one SIM used for a phone call while the other accesses data features.
A hint of the future
Google’s latest Android update, the developer-specific Android Q Beta 1, features a number of sizeable changes and not all of them are great just yet. The addition of Dual SIM Dual Active support will likely fall into that latter category alongside the broken dark mode and now notch-sporting screenshot ‘features’.
That’s because Google’s Pixel 3 family utilizes a digital eSIM and can’t use both that and the physical SIM slot simultaneously, meaning that one needs to be inactive while the other is in use. The new addition does seem to suggest something about Google’s upcoming Pixel 4 handsets though.
Rumors about the gadget have indicated the as-yet-unannounced gadget would feature more fully-fleshed-out Dual SIM support. At the same time, the present trajectory for the final release of Android Q puts it in line with the launch of Google’s next hardware iteration with both expected in Q3 2019 -- in time for Google’s annual Made by Google Hardware event.
Features from next-generation hardware frequently crop up in software ahead of the new gadgets' announcement and, for Google, that typically means they appear in the Android beta test cycle ahead of the next Pixel launch. Beta 1 undoubtedly contains things that won't make the cut to the next version of the OS and there are plenty of features that aren't appearing in the program just yet.
The change does seem to improve the chances that the company's next device will support Dual SIM Dual Active, or at very least will have better system-level support for Dual SIM Dual Standby.
More good news
Another unexpected discovery with the launch of the Android Q Beta 1 release of Google's test program is the fact that the manufacturer's original Pixel-branded handsets are included in the test. That doesn't necessarily mean that Google will release the final firmware to the devices when it's finished but it would be big news for Pixel and Pixel XL owners if that did happen. The two handsets were only initially promised two years of updates and Android Q would push that to three.
Aside from speculation about improvements to the Pixel 4's performance via a new Snapdragon 855 SoC and the above-mentioned connectivity improvements, there aren't many other reasonable rumors about Google's Pixel 4 handsets just yet. Regardless of whether any of that speculation turns out to be true, Android Q is shaping up to be a massive change already, and that's with five more Beta phases remaining before the final release.
Oh whoa it looks like Q enables dual active sim support for pixel 3 👀 pic.twitter.com/o7Aghd4KEM
— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow) March 13, 2019