Android 10 Q will include dark theme, iOS-style location controls, Focus Mode & more
Google revealed more details about the next version of Android at its I/O developer keynote on Tuesday, promising features like a native dark theme and iPhone-style location controls for apps.
These controls include permission pop-ups from apps, allowing people to choose between always-on, in-app, and fully blocked tracking. Apple has offered this since 2014’s iOS 8.
Other security enhancements include disk encryption on low-end phones, and individually-updatable OS components. That means that if a critical security issue is discovered in one part of Android, Google and other device makers don’t have to push out full-scale releases.
Screen Time-like parental app and time controls are now built into the OS. A similar feature for everyone is Focus Mode, which shuts off distracting apps until it’s turned off. The option will also be available for the existing Android P.
For mute or deaf people — or those who simply want to work without sound — Google is introducing two technologies, Live Caption and Live Relay. The former works offline, and requires just a little over 80 megabytes of phone space. Live Relay can turn voice calls into text and let people reply as if they’re in a pure text chat.
The Smart Reply system has been expanded to all messaging apps, and can pop up buttons for outside functions, for instance presenting one for Google Maps if an address is detected.
The OS will lastly gain native compatibility with foldable phones launching later this year. It’s not clear if Samsung will incorporate this into the now-delayed Galaxy Fold.
As of today, the third beta of Android 10 Q is available on 21 devices, not just Google’s Pixel phones as before.
Word of the update’s features is critical to Apple. While Google has yet to set a release date for 10 Q, iOS 13 — expected this fall — may need to match Android to keep or expand marketshare. Some changes in iOS 13 are rumored to involve revamped Health, Reminders, Maps, and Messages apps.