In the sea of the newly released gadgets and their announcements, one thing is sure – if you have Google Pixel, you have all the Android updates first. We already reported of how Google decided to end the 10-year history of naming releases after desserts, and bailed on providing a codename beginning with a subsequent letter of the alphabet (in this case, Q), which is the way we’ve been referring to Android up to now. This year is Android 10, next year will be Android 11, and so on.
So, if you have Google Pixel, you can download the next big version Android 10 already today.
Known as Android Q beta, Android 10 introduces lots of new features, including accessibility changes like live captions for videos and podcasts, new dark mode that makes devices easier to view at night, support for faster security updates, improved parental controls, new algorithms that can understand how often you use apps and shut them down to improve battery life, better notification controls, redesigned Android Auto interface and new gesture navigation.
The latter is interesting because Android 9 Pie’s home “pill” and contextual back button are now replaced by a thin white line at the bottom center of the screen. You can swipe up quick to go home or do it a little slower in order to open the Overview screen. If you swipe right you will not get yourself a new love partner but will go to your last app so it’s multitasking all along.
A diagonal swipe at the left or right corner will launch Assistant with a new four-color light bar animation. To return, which Google discovered users liked more than the home button, users can now swipe on either the left or right edge of the display.
One more interesting feature is a Smart Reply. Similar to how Gmail and Messages are able to suggest automatic responses, Smart Reply is now built into Android. It means all messaging notifications will be able to quickly reply. If the text contains a URL, Android 10 will offer to open the appropriate app to view it in, while messages with 2FA codes feature a very useful copy button.
One of the big Google’s focuses is privacy. Therefore, there will be a new page in Settings to centralize related preferences, like Ad Settings and Web & App Activity. User can only grant apps the Location permission when in active use. There are also periodic reminders when an application accesses users position in the background.
In order to optimize key security and privacy updates without the need for full OS updates, Google introduced Project Mainline with Android 10.
Android 10 is expected to roll out to other Android phones over the coming year. Usually, Android phones need more time to get their updates than iPhones, since it’s up to their manufacturers and carriers to approve when and which phones will receive the new version.
So, if you have Samsung or some other Android, don’t expect to see your phone updated anytime soon. Of course, you might have an Android device or a phone from one of the partners who have been testing the early Android 10 betas on select devices, like OnePlus – then don’t worry, you’re covered as well.
As per Google’s Android distribution dashboard for the seven-day period ended May 7, 2019, only 10.4% of all Android devices are running Android Pie, that was released last year. Most Android devices (28.3%) still run a version of Android Oreo that was released in 2017.
Yesterday Google (GOOGL) stock closed 0.017% higher to $1,169.55.