The fourth version of the Android Q Beta is out. Google announced the release today for Pixel devices enrolled in the Android Q Beta program, and third-party devices should get the update whenever their manufacturer gets around to it. There are 12 third-party manufacturers involved in the Android Q beta this year, and at least one, Essential, is releasing Beta 4 today along with Google.
With Beta 4, Google is declaring the new Android Q developer APIs to be “final,” giving them the official designation of “API 29” (the number goes up with each release of Android). With the final APIs, Android app developers are encouraged to make any Q-centric changes to their apps and upload them to Google Play, which is now accepting apps targeting the new OS. In Q, developers can add features like an official system-supported dark mode, support for foldable smartphone layouts, system-suggested smart replies and actions for notifications, and more.
We’re getting late in the beta cycle now, and it doesn’t seem like there are a ton of new user-facing features in this OS. We already installed the OS on a device, and after a quick check, it looks like there are only a few minor tweaks to things like the system icons in the status bar and lock screen. Previously, Android Q made major improvements to the new gesture navigation system, added a more modular component-update system called “Project Mainline,” and begin revamping the way storage and permissions work to give users more control over their data privacy.
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