Key features of the upcoming Android Q mobile operating system

Android is releasing version 10 of its operating system, or Q, this year.
Android is releasing version 10 of its operating system, or Q, this year.PHOTO: GOOGLE

This year, Android is reaching version 10, or Q, with an emphasis on privacy and security. Here are some of the key features including those that improve the mobile operating system's functions and looks.

Privacy

There will be a dedicated Privacy section under Settings to let you choose to, say, share location data with apps only when the apps are in use. A new Scoped Storage feature lets you control which app has access to files in external storage, and block unpermitted access. There will also be new restrictions to prevent apps from launching activities in the background and accessing device serial numbers.

Bubbles

This new feature is similar to Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads. Bubbles are small round alerts that appear on top of your Android device, allowing you to reply to messages without having to exit the app you are currently using. You needn't worry about your device being overrun by Bubbles - you have to give permission to each app to use Bubbles as a notification method.

Live Caption

This feature is ideal for people who want to watch videos without audio, like when you are in the MRT. With a single tap, Live Caption automatically captions any media playing audio on your phone. It works with videos, podcasts and audio messages, across any apps and even with stuff you recorded. Captions appear as soon as speech is detected, without needing a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

 

Smart Reply

This feature allows any messaging app to suggest replies in its notifications. It also predicts your next action. For instance, if someone sends you an address, you can tap on it to open that address in Google Maps.

Focus Mode

This is designed for people who may find it hard to tune out the distraction of emailand social media notifications while working. Select the apps you want to pause to block notifications and access to the apps until you come out of Focus mode. But you can make exceptions to still receive calls from your spouse.

Digital Wellbeing

New parental control options in Android Q's Digital Wellbeing settings include app-specific time limits.A bonus time feature gives parents the ability to grant - via their own devices - extra or bonus screen time to their kids to finish up, say, an assignment on an education app.

Dark Theme

A predominantly black background improves visibility under low-light conditions. It will also help users with poor visionor are sensitive to bright light. This mode will improve battery life as the device display's pixels are not lit up most of the time.

Native 5G Support

5G networks will be natively supported in Android Q. This means any smartphone released with Android Q does not need additional changes or tweaks by the phone maker to add 5G software compatibility.

Foldable Smartphones Support

Android Q is designed to support foldable smartphones. It is able to support app continuity, multi-windows and the ability to adapt to different screen dimensions as such a phone is unfolded.