If Google’s timeline for previous Android Dev Preview launches is anything to go by, we’re only a little way out from seeing an Android Q build released. If you’re too impatient to wait for this, an early build of Android Q has now leaked and it’s got a tonne of new features.
The internal build of Android Q, which includes the February 2019 security patch, is up to date with the Android AOSP internal master according to the report from XDA-Developers. The Android Q build was run on a Google Pixel 3 XL and while there’s no Pixel optimisations included it does give a good look at Android Q features – though as usual, some of these may or may not make it to the final build.
The big feature for Android Q appears to be the inclusion of a system-wide Dark Mode, a feature previously found by Android Police in the Chrome Gerrit.
The system level inclusion would complete Google’s progression in rolling dark mode out to their apps and applying it to the system itself. Dark mode won’t be forced though, with the ability to select Always On, Always Off or a toggle based on the time of day.
According to the report, Android Q developer options also include an option for ‘override force-dark’ which will switch to dark mode for all apps, even if they’re not set up for it.
Also arriving in Android Q is a revamp of the privacy permissions. Google is working on revamping the look of the Permissions page, as well as implementing a new permission restriction that can be limited to ‘only while the app is in use’.
Anyone casting envious glances at Huawei’s and Samsung’s desktop mode will be pleased to see that Google is at least entertaining the notion of a desktop UI while plugged into a diplay. Under the Developer options, the XDA team found a “force desktop mode” options with the description: force experimental desktop mode on secondary displays.
Though they couldn’t get the feature working, the feature is a possibility for Android Q and fingers crossed will make it to the final release.
The desktop mode, could be the source for the return of freeform windows on Android, a feature which has been seen previously, and can be turned on with Android Pie – but not without some effort. According to XDA, the toggle would allow you to launch freeform multi-windows by long-pressing on an app icon in the recent apps overview.
Developer options also includes a native screen recording app which can be useful, and there’s also new ‘Time to take action’ and ‘Time to read’ switches, allowing you to customise the amount of time a notification can be either read, or responded to before disappearing.
*****UPDATE: XDA have now uploaded a video overview of Andorid Q to YouTube. Check it out below.
There’s a few other bits and pieces which you can see over on XDA-Developers, but the highlights for Android Q in its current state look pretty good. Of course the real question for Android Q is: Which Tasty Treat will it be named after?