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Android

25 Cool New Features in Android 10 Q

Android 10 Q Features
Written by Divine Okoi
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It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about the exciting cool new features in the first official release of Android 9.0 “Pie”. Today, we are excited to announce that Google has officially made a new version available and it is already reliably running on devices around the globe.

Android 10 was released on 3rd September 2019 as the 17th version of the popular operating system and its 10th major release. It includes a variety of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements ranging from 5G support to support for foldable smart devices and privacy controls.

Before now, Google named Android versions after desserts and this version, while in the beta stage, was nicknamed Android Q. It is now evident that Google has either put their naming style on hold or scrapped it all together as the official name for this release is Android 10. Maybe a nickname will be announced later, maybe not. In any case, here is a list of feature highlights in Android 10.

1. An Improved Files App

The Files app on Android 10 has gotten a UI overhaul with smoother animations, a global search bar located at the top, and quick access to other apps.

Android Q Files App

Android Q Files App

2. An Improved Share Menu

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Android 10 finally has a sharing menu with smarter contextual sharing options and contact recommendations, and it is also significantly faster than the legacy menu.

Android Q Share Menu

Android Q Share Menu

3. Dark Theme

The dark theme uses true black to give a cool dark mode to your Google apps such as Calendar and Photos and it works to extend battery life.

Android Q Dark Theme

Android Q Dark Theme

4. Dual-Sim Support

Although only available on the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL devices, Android 10 ships with support for Dual-SIM dual-standby (DSDS) and is expected to be available for other devices before the end of 2020.

Android Q Dual-Sim Support

Android Q Dual-Sim Support

5. Focus Mode

Focus mode enables users to zone out of distractions by selecting applications to pause for specified periods. Paused applications will not send any notifications or updates.

Android Q Focus Mode

Android Q Focus Mode

6. Google Assistant (Visual Cue) Handles

Android 10 features Google Assistant handles in screen corners to hint users that they can summon the assistant by swiping inwards from the bottom corners of the screen. Activating Google Assistant via the home button no longer works.

Android Q Google Assistant

Android Q Google Assistant

7. Gesture Navigation

Navigation controls have been improved thanks to cooler gesture features that allow users to go backwards and forwards, swipe up to view all open apps, and pull up to access the home screen.

Android Q Gesture Navigation

Android Q Gesture Navigation

8. Privacy Controls

Android 10 users can opt-out of ad retargeting and personalization, decide what data is stored and for how long e.g. web activity data and all these settings can be adjusted from the privacy tab in the settings menu.

Android Q Privacy Controls

Android Q Privacy Controls

9. Adaptive Battery Improvements

This feature was first introduced in Android 9 and it uses machine learning to predict which apps one is more likely to use than others in the hours that follow in other to save battery power and improve battery health.

Android Q Adaptive Battery

Android Q Adaptive Battery

10. Live Caption

Android now has the capability to automatically caption videos, audio messages, podcasts, and other media on your phone such as voice recordings without being online.

Android Q Live Caption

Android Q Live Caption

11. QR Codes for WiFi Sharing

Google has finally adopted the ability to share WiFi passwords via QR codes. All users need to do is tap the WiFi connection > Share > Authenticate password > Allow a friend to scan the generated QR code.

Android Q QR Codes for WiFi Sharing

Android Q QR Codes for WiFi Sharing

12. Smart Reply

Android 10 goes beyond only giving smart response suggestions to your messages by giving recommended actions such as a smart reply to a dinner invitation and directions to the venue on Google Maps. This feature is available even in 3rd party apps like Signal.

Android Q Smart Reply

Android Q Smart Reply

13. Family Link

Users can set digital ground rules that allow for healthy habits by placing content restrictions, viewing app activity, managing app types, and device location.

Android Q Parental Control

Android Q Parental Control

14. Android 10 Go

Android Go is an edition of stock Android tailored for low-end smart devices. It was first released on 5th December 2017 with 2GB RAM or less for ultra-low-budget phones and it now ships with most of the updates available in the standard Android 10 version.

Android 10 Go

Android 10 Go

15. Quicker Access to Contextual Settings

Adding to the ease of accessibility to the WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. toggles, Google has made it easier to access a contextual settings panel via a new popup window in certain contexts. There’s an ideal example here.

Quicker Access to Contextual Settings

Quicker Access to Contextual Settings

16. Foldable Devices

The game-changing foldables and 5G devices are available on only Android so one can very sure to enjoy the experience of the latest flexible devices with Android 10.

Foldable Android Devices

Foldable Android Devices

17. Standard Depth Format

Applications running on Android 10 now have the ability to “request a Dynamic Depth image which consists of a JPEG, XMP metadata related to depth-related elements, and a depth and confidence map embedded in the same file on devices that advertise support,”. This feature is useful for creating bokeh options and specialized blurs and Google hopes that 3rd party applications will take advantage of it.

Android Q Dynamic Depth

Android Q Dynamic Depth

18. Improved Permission Options

Android 10 automatically grants certain permissions to applications based on use-cases. For example, messaging apps automatically get access rights to send/receive texts and to contact lists. Users can also choose to grant location access to applications completely or only when the app is in use.

Android Q Improved Permission Options

Android Q Improved Permission Options

19. Security Updates via Play Store

Android users can now get security updates faster by choosing to install updates directly from the Google Play Store as they would update any other installed applications. Google also promises to make the fixes installable as soon as they are available.

Android Q Security Updates

Android Q Security Updates

20. Streaming Support for Hearing Aids

Android 10 users that own a Pixel 3 can now stream music to their hearing aids via Bluetooth and since Google is open-sourcing the platform, we expect to see more phones with this nifty feature in the following months.

Android Q Hearing Aids Support

Android Q Hearing Aids Support

21. Contaminant Detection

Android 10 will display a warning alert if your USB port is wet or overheating and automatically disable any connected accessories until the phone detects the issue has been quelled or the user manually enables them.

Android Q Contaminant Detection

Android Q Contaminant Detection

22. Sound Amplifier

Android 10 boosts the sound around you by filtering background noise in order to provide the best possible sound quality. Users also have the ability to enjoy this feature with their headphones as well.

Android Q Sound Amplifier

Android Q Sound Amplifier

23. Camera Updates

Coupled with the dynamic depth feature, Android 10 supports HEIF imaging for saving still images, monochrome camera support, and secure transportation of camera frames, among other features.

Android Q Camera Updates

Android Q Camera Updates

24. Android Auto

The Android Auto feature which enables users to plug their device to their car and use it on the car’s display is now built-in.

Android Auto

Android Auto

25. Dynamic System Updates

The Dynamic System Updates allows developers to load different system images on their Android devices for testing purposes without affecting the phone’s original system image.

Android Q Dynamic System Updates

Android Q Dynamic System Updates

There are more features in Android 10 that are cool and especially useful to developers. If you are interested in checking out all of them you can find them here.

  Use Bluetooth Tethering to Connect Ubuntu to Android's WiFi

Have you been following the trends in Android development since the release of 9.0 “Pie”? Are there any features you were expecting to see that didn’t make the cut? Or better still, which features are you excited to see in this new version? Feel free to tell us how you feel about this recent update in the comments section down below.

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About the author

Divine Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a Cybersecurity graduate student with an enthusiasm for open-source software. With over 700 articles under his belt, he continues to recommend the best software that the market has to offer.