Something to look forward to: Google has finally released the Android Q beta with a big focus on privacy. Other changes include updates to sharing and content creation. Rejoice Android aficionados! (that own a Pixel phone, of course).
The Android Q beta is officially here primarily for developers to test their applications on. While there aren't any major consumer facing features yet, there are a few things of note, primarily with a focus on privacy.
Android Q puts new limits on files located on shared external storage. Google says that apps can either use their own sandbox to store data or in "common collections." There are also new restrictions on apps launching background tasks without user knowledge, and restrictions that limit access to location data only while the app is in the foreground.
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. There are improvements to how apps resize for different form factors, notably folding phones, and how those apps run in the background.
For people who use their Android device primarily for media or content creation, Android Q supports the AV1 video codec and faster communication with MIDI devices. Android Q also improves depth maps for cameras that support it. That means developers will be able to provide better depth of field effects for pictures like bokeh and blur.
For now, the Android Q beta is limited to Pixel devices including first generation. Feel free to sign up for the beta and install it but the usual caveats apply regarding possibly bricking your phone.
We'll likely learn more about planned consumer-facing changes at Google's I/O developer conference later this year. However, I must wonder what delicious dessert will Android Q be named after?