Google Pixel & Pixel XL to receive Android Q update "by popular demand"

Alfred Osborne
March 14, 2019

While there are some user-facing changes with Android Q compared to Pie, this latest Android version is primarily focused on smaller backend tweaks and upgrades to make your phone, faster, safer, and more reliable.

We're getting our first good look at Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile operating system which will come out in a public release later this year.

Those interested can enroll here to get Android Q beta updates over-the-air, but only on their Pixel phones (at least for now).

The continued support for the original Pixel and Pixel XL comes as a bit of a surprise, as these devices are already past their promised support window for new features (which at the time was two years from release).

There's also a host of other less visible under-the-hood updates to Android Q including a new settings panel that can be activated from within certain apps. So if you are using a ride share app you can let it track your location while it's in use, but forbid the app from learning your location data when not. As expected, it's got a bunch of new features that will refine (and hopefully improve) the Android experience.but since this beta is for developers, a lot of the changes listed on the Android Developers Blog post explain all the new features and APIs for apps.

Device location access
Device location access

In terms of imaging, applications can now request a Dynamic Depth image that contains metadata surrounding the elements related to depth along with a confidence map in the same file. This time around, Google will be taking comments and suggestions via the more common settings menu option as well as a brand new app and Quick Settings Tile dedicated to providing feedback.

That's right, notches and screen corners now appear in Android Q screenshots. Furthermore, it will also be used in instances of 3D images and support for AR photography. Google also says it plans to integrate support for folding displays in the Android Emulator for developers soon. You can do this if you don't have a Pixel device.

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There will also be a high performance, low latency mode for Wi-Fi which could prove handy for real-time gaming, active voice calls, and the likes.

Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID. A new Sharing Shortcuts feature will make it easier to share content between apps using a similar function to Android's App Shortcuts feature, according to Google.

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