Android Q public beta now available for Pixel phones

Android Qs first beta is here for all Pixel devices Heres whats new

Representational image of Google Pixel 3 XL. Image tech2/Prannoy Palav

"You can get started with Beta 1 today by enrolling any Pixel device, including the original Pixel and Pixel XL, which we've extended support for by popular demand".

Portrait photos are all the rage these days, and in Android Q, Google's taking them to another level with a feature called "dynamic depth". The Android Runtime (ART) in Android Q can pre-compile parts of an app to reduce launch times.

Device location access
Device location access

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.

Previously, the first preview build of predecessor Android versions were installable only through manual processor since it was aimed towards developers. Maybe we'll hear more about this at Google IO in May.

When I first leaked Android Q back in January, there was one feature that I really wanted to show off but sadly couldn't because it wasn't fully implemented: the experimental desktop mode.

Controlling apps that access photos, videos and audio files have become easier to manage on Android Q. Also, apps are required to use the system file picker inside the Downloads folder so that users can choose which files can be access by the app.

As for what's coming in the future, Android Q also has the foldable tech into consideration. Android betas are mainly aimed at developers to help them optimise apps according to the UI of the upcoming Android version. Mind you, the beta is bound to be full of bugs so we recommend not using a primary device to test out the beta.

You can already set your screen to grayscale using the Wind Down settings in the Digital Wellbeing app; removing color from your screen should, in theory, discourage use of your phone.

Other quality of life changes include a new settings API that allow developers to call up phone settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when needed instead of forcing users to go to the settings app. Quite a few apps run in the background collecting your location data when you are not using the app. Google is offering a system image of Android Q that you can flash onto your device if you're comfortable doing stuff like that, or you can sign up for the Android Beta Program and have updates pushed to you over the air. The first four betas will be for testing purposes while betas 5 & 6 are intended release candidates, which are the final beta versions of the completed software update.

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