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Android Q: 7 features that make Android fun again



  android-q-beta-5

The fifth beta of Android Q brings us closer to final release.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Software updates such as Android Q add new features and can be refreshing if you're sick of the phone. Google released the first beta of Android Q in March and recently pushed the fifth beta to members of the Android Beta Program . A total of six releases are expected before Android Q receives a name and an official release date.

With each beta release, Google has added new features to Google's Android Q that go beyond what the company announced and previewed on Google I / O in May. There is a Bubbles notification feature a full-on-gesture navigation enhanced privacy settings and a slick-live subtitle feature .

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Android Q Beta: What's New?



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If you want to help Google test Android Q, you can sign up for . Remember that this is still a beta version and there are problems. Some apps just do not work and the battery life has worsened. In the meantime, there are some exciting new features in Android Q.

Bubbles

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Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Are you still using Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads feature? If so, you will love the new Bubbles feature of Android Q. Bubbles work just like chat heads, with a circular notification of what's on your screen. Google wants developers to know which types of apps are using bubbles just because a stream of notifications that appear on your screen, regardless of what you're doing, would very quickly get pretty annoying.

As you can see in the above screenshots, Bubbles works with the Google Phone app. I triggered bubbles by leaving an active call. After that, a small circle appeared with the picture of the contact. As you move the balloon, two options are displayed at the bottom of the screen: Hide and End Call. Dragging the icon to one of the two options triggered this action. By tapping on the balloon once, a few more options were displayed, eg. For example, enabling the speaker or mute the call.

Wi-Fi and QR codes

Android Q makes it easy to share Wi-Fi networks with a QR code.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Sharing your Wi-Fi network password with friends or asking friends can be awkward. Android Q has a new feature that lets you create a QR code for your Wi-Fi network directly in the device's Wi-Fi settings, or scan a QR code to connect to a Wi-Fi network. To use this new feature, go to the Wi-Fi settings and select your home network. Then click the Share button with a small QR code directly above it.

Undo app removal

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Did you ever accidentally remove an app from your home screen and then find that you can not remember which app was there? I have.

On Android Q, after removing an app, you have a few seconds to undo the change. The undo button is at the bottom of the screen. Press it and bam, the app is back where it belongs.

Site Control

You have new ways to approve site access in Android Q.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Android finally gets more control over how an app can use location information . Currently, you can always or not always grant an app access to your location. With Android Q, you can only grant an app access to your location information while you're actively using the app. Not only is this a matter of privacy, it also helps to extend battery life.

Privacy Settings

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The new privacy settings in Android Q are long overdue.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Android Q now has its own Privacy section in the Settings app. Opening displays the various permissions apps can request for Calendar, Location, Camera, Contacts, and Microphone.

Android does not have a clear way to see which apps can access what data on your device. The new section makes it easier to discover and revoke permissions for specific apps. Take a few minutes to find out exactly what you can do on the new page for Android Q Privacy Settings . Trust us, it's worth it.

Better notification control

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Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

If you press a warning for a long time, you have two options: Warning and Silent. By selecting Alerting, the app can emit a sound each time it hears a new alarm. Silently, there is no sound and the phone does not vibrate. You can further customize the behavior of notifications under Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications .

This is a small but important feature because you no longer have to look around the Settings app to find out how to customize an app's warnings. You just press long, choose an option and you're done.

Live Subtitle

Google's Live Subtitle feature in action.


Google

To make Android more accessible, Google has developed Live Caption. This feature will record all played videos live without data connection. It's not quite ready for beta 5 yet, but it's too good not to be upset about it.

Originally published on March 14th.
Update, July 10: Adds new information about the current beta release.


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