Google’s first public Android Q beta is now available for Pixel phones

Doris Richards
March 14, 2019

For privacy, Android Q will offer a new location access setting for individual apps.

Those with compatible phones who are interested in testing this early version of Android Q just need to enroll their device and then check for updates.

We've also changed how the resizeableActivity manifest attribute works, to help you manage how your app is displayed on foldable and large screens.

Much of what's in this first build is under the hood stuff, and we won't really get an idea of everything that's coming until Google's annual i/O developers event. With the final design with Android Q relying on feedback from the beta program and users free to offer more insight and suggestions, tearing into upcoming features and improvements ahead of their respective finalization could become much more hard. Dynamic Depth will be an open format, so it might take off.

Android Q also comes with hardened privacy protections that'll give users more control over when apps access their location; you can choose to only let an app access your location when it's in use as opposed to always or never.

Using the depth map data collected from a camera, which include information for an isolated background and foreground, Google says apps will be able to create "specialized blurs and bokeh options". Now with Android Q Google starts an app's process earlier and moves it to a security container, so it's ready to launch immediately. For example, if you're using a browser but you've got no internet connection, a setting panel can pop up and display the Internet Connectivity panel so that you can quickly toggle on Wi-Fi or mobile data without leaving your app.

As for the user-centric features, Android Q introduces Sharing Shortcuts. For more on the features coming in Android Q, check out Google's blog post at the source link below.

Developers can publish share targets that launch a specific activity in their apps with content attached, and these are shown to users in the share UI.

Access to device IMEI, serial number, and similar identifiers will be limited in Android Q, and Google will randomize your device's MAC address when connecting to different Wi-Fi networks by default (this setting was optional in Pie). Furthermore, it will also be used in instances of 3D images and support for AR photography. Keep in mind, devices that have the original image flashed will not receive OTA updates for future beta updates.

This is all for now, folks. You should be able to disable or reset your advertising ID without being tracked, and Android Q makes that possible. Share your views with us in the comments.

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