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Google at its I/O 2019 keynote had a lot to reveal about Android Q, which will be released as version 10 of the mobile operating system later this year. First among these, was the announcement that Android now runs on over 2.5 billion active devices from over 180 device makers. Google also announced that Android Q Beta 3 was now available for 21 devices from 13 brands. Here are all the Android Q features announced by Google at I/O 2019:
Live Captions is perhaps the most interesting new feature in Android Q and it will be made available to users later this year. Android Q will bring Live Caption to Android phones. This will enable captions in all videos you might watch on the platform, including web videos, which is just awesome. The feature can be enabled by pressing the volume rocker and tapping on the Live Caption button. The best part about this feature is that it works completely on-device, so none of your data is sent to the cloud. It’s also OS-wide, so it will work across all your apps.
Android Q is also bringing smart reply across the OS, and it will work on all messaging apps, including secure messaging apps like Signal. With smart reply, you’ll be able to quickly reply to messages directly from the notification, thanks to Google’s AI and machine learning.
Moreover, Android Q will also be able to predict actions you’re likely to take based on the content of a message. For example, if someone sends you a location, you’ll be able to directly open that location in maps and start navigation straight from the notification. That’s pretty awesome!
Last year, Google announced Digital Wellbeing with Android Pie, and now, the company is adding Focus Mode to Android Q. With Focus Mode, users will be able to pick and choose distracting apps, and when they enable Focus Mode, these apps will be disabled on their phones. This is definitely something I can see being useful for me at work, to avoid looking at Instagram every now and then, while still being able to use WhatsApp to stay in touch with people that matter. Focus Mode is not exclusive to Android Q, though, and Google has said that the feature will be coming to all Android phones running Android Pie and Android Q this fall.
Android Q will finally come with Dark Theme built-in, and users will be able to toggle it on or off using the Quick Settings tile, or by enabling Battery Saver. This is definitely a feature that stock Android users will appreciate.
With Android Q, Google is also working towards ensuring that smartphones with Android Q get security updates faster and more seamlessly. With Android Q, users will be able to get security updates seamlessly and install them without having to restart their smartphones.
Android Q is also very focused on location privacy, and will bring various controls to ensure that you’re in control of which apps are using your location, and how they’re using it.
For starters, Android Q will give you a reminder whenever an app is accessing your location in the background when you’re not actively using it. This should come in handy to identify apps that are misusing location data in the background.
Other than that, when an app requests your location in Android Q, you’ll be given a third option other than just ‘Allow’ and ‘Deny.’ With Android Q, you’ll get an option to only allow the app to access your location while it’s being used. So as soon as you leave the app, Android Q will prevent it from accessing location data.