Android Q Beta 1 released for all Pixel phones; New features revealed

Android Qs first beta is here for all Pixel devices Heres whats new

The biggest surprise here is the inclusion of the original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones which are well over two years old.

As for the user-centric features, Android Q introduces Sharing Shortcuts.

Android Q brings "a number of additional privacy and security features", Google said in a blog post, as well as new camera capabilities, faster app startup, enhancements for foldable devices, and more.

There has been more pre-release buzz about the upcoming Android release than usual this year thanks to a leaked build of Android Q several weeks back. These apps collectively had been installed over 150 million times, and Google has since removed the titles from the Play Store.

The Android Q beta is officially here primarily for developers to test their applications on. You can also set a custom wallpaper for the desktop.

Device location access
Device location access

This initial version of the beta is now only available for Google's Pixel smartphones, including the first-generation Pixel devices. Since Android Nougat, the finalized version of the OS has been published sometime in August with Android Pie having been pushed out the earliest.

Developers will be able to show floating settings controls in Android Q as well. Similarly, there are better controls to keep tabs on what files (i.e. photos, videos, audio, etc.) apps are requesting access to. We advise updating a device that isn't your primary one to prevent any potential data loss if you're eager to try Android Q.

Shortcut sharing. Android Q will make it easier and faster to share items like photos by adding Sharing Shortcuts that let users jump directly into another app to share content. Also, apps that access downloaded files on your device have to now go through the system file picker. Quite a few apps run in the background collecting your location data when you are not using the app.

Android Q also comes with hardened privacy protections that'll give users more control over when apps access their location; you can choose to only let an app access your location when it's in use as opposed to always or never. Thus, you'll be able to unlock your phone and access secure apps like Google Pay on properly equipped phones.

Users who want are willing to deal with bugs and issues - of which there will be plenty - can enroll in the Android Beta for Pixel devices program here. The first four betas will be for testing purposes while betas 5 & 6 are intended release candidates, which are the final beta versions of the completed software update. What are your thoughts on the Android Q Beta 1?

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