Google is planning an unprecedentedly vast beta test for Android Q, the next iteration of its operating system expected to hit the stable channel in the second half of the year. Project Treble engineer Iliyan Malchev said as much in a recently aired podcast, albeit without providing many details on the matter.
What’s certain is that more brands than ever will be participating in the experimental phase of the OS’s development, which is already quite telling seeing how last year’s Android 9 Pie beta was quite extensive in its own right, whereas its timing and one other indication suggest Android Q is just around the corner. Besides Google’s Pixel handsets, the test also encompassed Sony, HMD (Nokia), OnePlus, Essential, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo.
Who’s joining the stock Android guard?
The remaining big names that could still join the effort include Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Motorola. Samsung is an extremely unlikely candidate seeing how it’s been avoiding anything resembling stock Android since the OS’s inception; even its first Android Go device runs a reskinned version of the firmware, which goes against the very nature of the platform.
LG’s portfolio — a part thereof, at least — seems like a realistic possibility for the expansion of Android’s beta platform seeing how the company has a rather recent track record with commercializing Google’s stock OS within the scope of the Android One program.
Huawei is another unlikely partner for Google’s beta-testing endeavors for reasons similar to those that are likely to keep Samsung at bay. The Chinese technology giant leaped over Apple just several months back and now needs to be looking at ways to maintain that momentum and solidify its position of the second-largest smartphone vendor in the world.
Unfortunately for tech enthusiasts favoring stock Android over third-party implementations, running a vanilla version of the firmware isn’t something most consumers care or are knowledgeable about. The advantages of such a setup hence elude the vast majority of Huawei’s target audience, making any investments in supporting stock Android development a largely worthless affair seeing how near-term growth is what the company is presently focused on, especially as its future opportunities are now likely to become limited due to its many issues with the United States government.
Motorola is an oddball on the aforementioned list of possibilities; the former Google unit isn’t vehemently opposed to the idea of stock Android and only lightly modifies the latest version of the world’s most popular OS for its handsets but it’s also rather slow to react to latest firmware developments and is largely focused on the lower end of the mid-range bracket these days, which is hardly the portfolio you want to use to push cutting-edge mobile technologies that are yet to start being seriously optimized for efficiency.
Ready for Android 10 Q to drop today?
The main piece of evidence pointing to the imminent release of the first developer preview of Android Q comes in the form of a new issue tracker segment spotted just several hours back that appears to have been created by Google engineers and doesn’t hide the fact it exists for the sole purpose of supporting the development of the company’s next major OS upgrade.