New Android Q Features Include Security Enhancements, 5G Support, and Smart Replies
By Sriram Surampudi
The planned release of Android Q is making serious strides in the world of mobility. As per the International Computer Science Institute report, over 1,300 android apps scrape personal data regardless of permissions. App makers are using multiple workarounds to get the information they’re looking for from the user.
Google is reportedly fixing these issues with the full release in September, though presumably not in any planned Android Q beta beforehand.
Today’s blog post covers 10 new features in Android Q.
1) New Privacy Features
- Google claimed that nearly 50 features are coming to Android Q related to security and privacy.
- Some of the privacy-focused features include:
- Access to clipboard data, Android apps can no longer access the Android operating system’s clipboard data unless they are in focus or running in the foreground.
- MAC address randomization on by default
- Removing easy access to network data
- Non-ranked contact data
- More control over location data
2) Security Enhancements
- Android Q introduces a number of security features.
- Improves biometric authentication dialogues
- We can now provide a hint that tells the system not to require user confirmation after the user has authenticated using an implicit biometric modality. For example, we could tell the system that no further confirmation should be required after a user has authenticated using authentication via facial recognition.
- Improved fall back support for device credentials
- We can now tell the system to allow a user to authenticate using their device PIN, pattern, or password if they cannot authenticate using their biometric input for some reason.
- Run embedded DEX code
- You can now tell the platform to run embedded DEX code directly from our app’s APK file. This option can help prevent an attack if an attacker ever managed to tamper with the locally compiled code on the device.
- TLS 1.3 support
- TLS 1.3 is a major revision to the TLS standard that includes performance benefits and enhanced security.
- Bug Fixes
- Improves biometric authentication dialogues
3) Project Mainline (Security updates in the background)
- With this new feature, users will get privacy and security patches through google play store.
- And the updates will be downloaded in the background while users continue to perform any activity on the device.
4) Foldable phone support
- One of the best native feature of Android Q is support for large screens and a foldable UI. This could be the leeway to development of dynamic and re-sizable apps that function in both multi-window modes and new aspect ratios.
- Content sharing is going to get a whole new meaning with a better multi-window functionality.
- With foldables, form factors can vary from super high long and thin screens all the way down to 1:1.
- Multi-Resume, multiple apps to be open and running in parallel.
- Support for foldables
5) Bubbles and seamless notifications
- Bubbles will give users an opportunity to view notifications as floating versions of apps that sits on the top of the content. When a notification is received, a small tiny circular notification will appear on our screen like a Facebook’s messenger chat head.
- App access: Users will have to approve each and every app that needs to use Bubbles as notification method.
- Sharing shortcuts
6) Dark theme
- There’s a system-wide dark mode coming to Android Q and it’s called Dark Theme.
- This theme was previously unavailable in older android versions, like the Pixel phone.
- The new theme will darken the interface, reducing strain on your eyes as well as saving battery life.
7) 5G support
- Unlike previous android versions, Google has also introduced various APIs in Android Q to make 5G technology supportable.
- Google bundled in 5G compatibility in Android Q. As soon as the 5G infrastructure is rolled out, Android Q will make use of the new technology if the phone is outfitted with the necessary components.
8) Live caption
- Android Q is also coming up with native support for captions, which will automatically add subtitles to videos, podcasts, and audio messages. These captions are in real time and system-wide so they aren’t limited to specific applications.
- Live Captions will enable real-time transcriptions of what’s being said on screen, regardless of the app you’re using. And this feature does not require an internet connection, meaning no wi fi is necessary.
- The new android phone design is optimal for the hearing impaired.
9) Gesture navigation
- The biggest change coming with Android Q is the entirely gesture based navigation system. This opt-in feature relies strictly on gestures for navigating the interface.
- Following are some of the navigation features
- Removal of Home and Back buttons
- Swipe down to open the Notification Screen.
- Swipe up from where the Home button was to go back to the home screen.
- Swipe up from mid-screen to open the app drawer.
- Short swipe from either the left or right edge of the screen to go back.
- Short swipe up (from the search bar) and release to open the app list.
10) Smart replies
- This functionality is no longer limited to Google’s messaging app and Gmail. Google has integrated a Smart Reply with the notification system of the Android Q. Unlike google assistant, users can operate this functionality for any messaging app like Facebook messenger, Viber, What’s App and Signal.
- This feature offers reply suggestions in the notification shade when we receive a message. For example, if someone sends us a message with an address or the name of a restaurant, Smart Reply will offer a link to the Google Maps app to help us start navigating to that exact locale.
With all of these new features, it feels like Android Q will be the most technically strong Android OS compared to the previous versions of Android.
Although an official release date for the finalized build is still uncertain, Google has released five out of six expected beta releases up until this point.