Android Q Gets Better Features, Third-Party Phone Support - Google I/O 2019

Google has now detailed some of the latest changes and feature additions to the developer preview of Android Q.

The announcement was made to coincide with the keynote presentation at Google's I/O 2019 developer event.

What is likely to be of importance to non-Pixel owners is Google is now making the beta program available to even more phone owners. Basically, twelve OEMs have now been added to the Q beta program so if you own a device from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei, LG, Sony, or a few other brands, you can now join in on the Android Q beta fun.

According to Google, and including the Pixel phones, the beta program is now available to “21 devices from 13 brands.”

Generally speaking, these beta releases are not exactly usually massive in terms of what they bring compared to the last update as these releases typically come through on an extremely regular basis - for example, almost on a monthly basis. However, Google has today announced new features for the beta version of Android Q that many users have been waiting for. Most notably, the inclusion of dark mode.

Google has today confirmed the beta version of Android Q now includes the widely-reported on system-wide dark mode. Users will simply be able to toggle this on or off from the settings and in doing so change the entire look of the interface to better suit their display, environment and preferences.

There's also a much greater emphasis on security and privacy now with Android Q. This includes more information presented to the user in settings about the data apps have access to, as well as an increased ability to better control those permissions and access.

As is probably to be expected, the latest version of Android Q also includes greater support for the company’s Digital Wellbeing initiative. For example, Android users can now take advantage of “Focus mode” which lets users silence apps they find “distracting” until a later time. Alternatively, families will see even more support from now on for the company's "Family Link" feature as this will be live on all devices running Android Q.

Also part of Android Q now is an improved level of gesture control. Google is looking to lessen the emphasis on users having to interact with the on-screen buttons, in this case, the “pill” and instead utilize a wider support for gestures in general.

All of these features are expected to be made available in the third beta release of Android Q. Google has not officially opened the availability of the third beta developer preview just yet, but that is expected to happen later today.

When it does go live, users of compatible devices will be able to download the latest version and run it on their devices. The easiest way to do is to join the OTA beta program.

Following today’s announcement, that now means more devices than ever before, from more brands.

A move which is likely going to help make sure more users are running the latest version of Android as soon as possible.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]