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Google releases first beta of Android Q for Pixel users

Thursday 14 March 2019 | 09:17 CET | News

Google has released the first beta of Android Q, the next version of the mobile operating system, for users of its Pixel smartphones. The company said Android Q brings a number of additional privacy and security features for users, as well as enhancements for foldables, new APIs for connectivity, new media codecs and camera capabilities, and faster app startup. A preview SDK is also available for developers. The company will release more details of the new OS at its developers conference Google I/O in May. 

Some of the changes include greater control over when apps can access a user's location data. Android Q enables users to give apps permission to see their location never, only when the app is in use (running), or all the time (when in the background). Apps' access to shared files, such as photos, videos and audio, will also be subject to greater control, as well as their access to device identifiers such as IMEI and serial number. 

Other new features include Sharing Shortcuts, to make it quicker to share content from app to app, and the ability for developers to incorporate some device settings directly in their apps, to give users easier control over settings such as connectivity. 

For greater security, Android Q will randomise the device's MAC address when connected to different Wi-Fi networks by default, a setting that was optional in Android 9 Pie. In addition, Google is adding new Wi-Fi standard support, WPA3 and Enhanced Open, to improve security for home and work networks as well as open public networks. Apps can also request adaptive Wi-Fi in Android Q, enabling high performance and low latency modes for specific functions such as gaming.

For images, Google is adding more options for the growing number of devices with depth sensors. Starting in Android Q, apps can request a Dynamic Depth image which consists of a JPEG, XMP metadata related to depth related elements, and a depth and confidence map embedded in the same file. This makes it possible for apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options. In addition, Android Q introduces support for the open source video codec AV1, which supports high-quality video at lower bandwidth. 



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Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: Google
Countries: World
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