The news about Android 10 or Q and its features has already started flowing in. It’s the next major Android version that’s going to release later this year.
Google announced Android 9 Pie on August 6, 2018, and despite being the earliest to be released in recent times. Only a handful of devices will have received the OS by the close of the year. In fact, a good chunk of users are still waiting on Android Oreo to arrive over a year down the line. But talks of the next version of Android are already gathering pace. Since we know Google’s naming scheme, we also know that the next version of the popular OS will be called Android Q, probably version 10.
I know it’s a bit too early to talk about Android Q, or Android 10. Thanks to all the leaks happening around, we do have something to discuss.
Obviously, there are a lot of questions that need an answer. Like when will Google release the next major Android? What dessert will the company pick for the name? And the most important one, what are the biggest Android 10 features we’re going to see?
Android 10 Release Date: When is it coming?
The last time Google announced a new version of Android OS earlier than August 6 was back in 2012 with respect to Android Jelly Bean. With Android Q, we don’t expect the search giant to relent on its approach to releasing the next version of its OS as early as possible.
With this in mind, we expect to see Android 10 or Q developer preview 1 (Android Q DP1) to hit us sometime in mid-March, while the first public beta build could be out somewhere in May 2019, with the stable release to follow at about the same time as Android Pie – August 2019.
What can I expect from Android 10?
The newly launched Android 9 Pie is a major overhaul of the OS as we know it, especially with respect to the user interface. The major highlight is the addition of new gesture controls that we expect to get even better in Android Q.
The fact that Android Pie represents a major change compared to Android Oreo and the versions before gives the impression that Android 10 won’t be accompanied by yet another overhaul. Instead, the update will be more of an incremental upgrade building upon the changes introduced in Pie. Still, this doesn’t mean Android Q will be short of nifty features worth looking forward to.
Android 10 Name: What are we calling it?
Now when it comes to naming Android every year, people give tons of suggestions. But you can never know what Google picks. For Android 10, these are the desert possibilities that we have:
- Android Quesito (ke-see-toe)
- Android Qottab (Ghottab)
- Quince (kwins)
- Android Quindim
- Queen of Puddings
- Quarabiya (Kurabiye)
- Android Quiche
I think if I talk about my choice, it is Android Quince as it’s the easiest to pronounce.
However, due to a scarcity of good names, people are also saying Google might not pick a dessert name at all this time.
History of Android names:
- Android 1.5 Cupcake (April 2009)
- Android 1.6 Donut (September 2009)
- Android 2.0 Eclair (October 2009)
- Android 2.2 Froyo (May 2010)
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread (December 2010)
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb (February 2011)
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (October 2011)
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (July 2012)
- Android 4.4 KitKat (October 2013)
- Android 5.0 Lollipop (November 2014)
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 2015)
- Android 7.0 Nougat (August 2016)
- Android 8.0 Oreo (August 2017)
- Android 9.0 Pie (August 2018)
Top Android 10 Q Features: What to expect?
Now when it comes to Android Q features, currently, the most significant source of information we have is XDA Developers. They recently managed to get hold of a super early build of Android Q with February 2019 security patches. However, this is not going to be the Developer Preview that Google will release a couple of months later.
With that said, here are some features and changes that you might see on Android Q and are worth waiting for:
1. Dark Mode
The system-wide dark mode has made its way over to Android Q and it does indeed seem to be an actual ‘dark mode’ since all supported apps do switch to a dark theme when enabled. This was a feature heavily rumored to come with Android Q and we’re glad it’s already present in the early leaked build.
Enabling the dark mode feature is fairly easy; head over to Display settings and set dark mode. You also get the option for choosing Automatic to change the system theme from light mode to dark mode and vice versa based on the time of day. While it’s highly likely we would get to see dark mode officially in Android Q, night mode had been spotted in previous early Android builds as well but never made its way over to the official software.
2. Desktop Mode
We can also expect Android 10 to get a Desktop Mode which will be on the likes of Samsung Dex and Huawei’s Projection Mode. It will provide a PC-like experience, complete with a standard desktop and full-sized apps. There’s no denying the fact that smartphones give us convenience, but sometimes we really need a PC to get things done faster.
3. Permissions Enhancement
Android Pie brought along some revamped privacy features which allow users to have more control over the app permissions. With the leaked build, the permissions have been enhanced once again and users can restrict apps from using location in the background etc.
It seems Google intends to give users granular control over the app permissions which is a great move. The permissions page has also got a design overhaul and gone are the confusing toggles for each app and now apps simply show up in a clean allowed and denied list for each permission.
4. Accessibility Additions
There seem to be a few additions to the accessibility additions as well since the options for Time to take action and Time to read have been added.
The time to take action feature lets pick “how long to show messages that ask you to take action, but are only visible temporarily.” Whereas the time to read feature lets you pick “how much time you want to read and take action on messages that automatically go away.”
It is worth noting that not all apps support this setting and the app developers would have to add support for the feature to their apps.
These were the major changes spotted in the leaked build of Android 10 and we do expect to see a lot more additions and changes as well. Once again, it’s worth noting that these features can be taken forward or removed with the next few Android Q builds and may or may not make their way over to the official stable Android Q build.
5. Screen Recorder built-in
Talking more about Android Q features, we might also see a built-in screen recorder tool just like iOS. In the leaked build, the screen recorder tool which is incomplete can be accessed by long pressing the Screenshot button in the Power menu. This is after a flag called settings_screenrecord_long_press is toggled on.
6. Face ID like Facial Recognition
The XDA team discovered a bunch of strings which indicate that Android 10 will have an in-house facial recognition feature. It means that smartphones that already sport a face unlock system will get native support form Google.
Moreover, in-built facial recognition support could also mean app and payment authentication through the face and added security.
7. Carrier Lockdown
Now the story is not all good-good, and Android 10 might bring some restrictions into your life. If you buy a locked Android Q device from a carrier, they’ll have the capability to stop you from using SIM cards of specific others carriers by created lists for ‘allowed’ and ‘excluded’ carriers.
8. New fonts, icon shape, and accent colors
One of the features of Android Pie is the ability to change the background theme. With Android Q, Google is planning to add more customizations. The leaked Android build shows off new two new fonts; icon shapes such as Square, Squircle, Teardrop; new accent colors namely black, green, and blue.
9. No more stealing passwords
The Android 10 build is including new permission called “READ_CLIPBOARD_IN_BACKGROUND”. As the name suggests, the new permission will hamper random background apps from accessing the clipboard content. Above all, apps would be asked to get a “signature” form the OEM. So this feature can protect it from hackers.
10. Downgrading app updates
Often, you update an app and then immediately regret the action, possibly because of new bugs and glitches. Now, many permission and command lines on the leaked build suggest that Android Q will have the ability to roll back apps to their previous version.
Will My Phone Get Android 10?
While some might be concerned about the name of the next version of Android Q, what others want to know is whether the OS will be released for their current devices.
Obviously, first, it’ll land on the Pixel series except on the original Pixel phones as their upgrade period ended in October 2018.
Last year, many non-Google devices got Android Pie Preview builds because of the Project Treble in action. For now, there is no list of confirmed smartphones, but this time we can expect even more non-Google Android phones to get the preview builds of Android Q.
For the users who want to test the latest OS, Google will soon provide Generic System Image, or GSI for short, for Android Q. It is a very basic Android Q ROM that doesn’t have any customizations like third-party apps, or even the Pixel launcher.
So, any device that supports Project Treble will be able to run the GSI ROM it passes the compatibility test. And yes, flashing the GSI on your phone would require some extra effort on your part. Such as unlocked bootloader and verified boot disabled. So prepare yourself for it.
As to whether your current device will receive Android 10 Q, you can only be sure of this if you own one of those $700+ smartphones that come preinstalled with Android Oreo.
Now, as you know, we should take all of this with a grain of salt because Google hasn’t officially confirmed anything. Anyway, I’ll wait and see how many of these features end up on the official Android 10 release.