Android Q Beta 1 released for all Pixel phones; New features revealed


Pixel 1 to 3-series owners rejoice: the first Android 10 beta is now available for download.

This time around as well Google has baked a number of feature flags in Android Q to give users access to features that are now under development.

Pixel users, get ready to engage Smug Mode: you get to try Android Q before anyone else. While we continue to dig around and find new, hidden and unannounced goodies, below are five features coming to Android Q worth getting excited about. It works quite well (on the Pixel 3 XL and not the Pixel 2) but you can now have "only" a single freeform window open on your homescreen.

For Android Q, the change will affect access to the platform's clipboard. Users will also get more control on apps when it comes to accessing the location. You can download images from Google and then flash them onto your device, but it will be a fresh install, with everything erased.

There are several other changes, including better support for sharing between applications, improved MIDI support, tighter integration with the Vulcan graphics API, faster application launching and more. Google I/O is in May so there will be some more details about Android Q there. Rejoice Android aficionados! (that own a Pixel phone, of course).

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In Android Q, the permissions have expanded. And when connected to an external monitor, you will be able to use the new desktop mode with your Android phone.

Starting in Android Q, apps can request a Dynamic Depth image which consists of a JPEG, XMP metadata related to depth related elements, and a depth and confidence map embedded in the same file on devices that advertise support.

Burke also explains in the blog post that developers will have to move their apps to public APIs, and that Google is expanding its "efforts to have all apps take full advantage of the security and performance features in the latest version of Android", which means Google Play will require apps to target Android 9 Pie in new apps and updates.

XDA Developers reports that the experimental desktop mode enables freefrom multi-windows, allowing users to open apps and move them around however they like. The beta build can be installed on the Pixel devices by enrolling in the Android Beta Program first. The new version of Android prevents apps for opening activities in the background. Don't do this out of casual interest, especially since future betas figure to be more stable.