On Wednesday, Google released the fourth beta for Android Q, which also comes with the official SDK and final APIs. Meaning that now is the time for developers to start building and testing their apps, ensuring that they are ready for Android Q when it becomes stable in the third quarter.
Similar to the previous betas, it will be available for all Pixel smartphones, even the original Pixel. With the recent June security patch, the Pixel 3a is now compatible too. You can sign up for the Android Beta Program here. If you are already in the program, you will get the update via OTA like usual.
With Android Q Beta 4, Google is providing the latest Android Q system images for Pixel as well as the Android Emulator. You also are getting the final APIs, which is API level 29. Along with the SDK for API level 29 and updated tools for Android Studio. Allowing developers to go ahead and start updating their apps and testing them on Android Q.
There's not a whole lot new in Android Q Beta 4, the biggest updates here are finalizing the APIs. Which means that we are getting closer to the final release. The next step is going to be release candidates, so instead of introducing new features, Google is polishing what's in this version of Android before it ships around August.
Google is reminding developers that they need to test out Android Q privacy features, including the new location permissions, as well as the new restrictions on background activity starts and much more. Google also has a privacy checklist available for developers to go through and see what is done and what needs to be done and tested.
The company is also stressing that developers should be focusing on optimizing for foldables. While foldable phones haven't had a great start, it's still going to be a big deal in the second half of 2019 and going into 2020. Making your app available for foldables isn't too hard, thanks to the APIs included in Android Q. Google is also urging developers to support some new Android Q features like the system-wide dark theme, the new sharing shortcuts, as well as suggested replies and action shortcuts in notifications. This is going to make apps stand out and run better on the newest version of Android.
The OTA for Android Q Beta 4 should be rolling out in the next few hours. This is going to be a more stable build than the previous betas, but if you are using a Pixel as your daily driver, you may want to hold off still. As there are likely going to be some bugs in this build of Android Q. But if you are a developer, now is the time to get started in using Android Q.
Developers are able to start pushing updates to their app to the Google Play Store, that support Android Q. Allowing them to get a larger pool of testers for their app and the new features fro Android Q.