The wait is over. Android 10 lands today — at least, for Google's Pixels.
An update delivering Google's latest flavor of Android will be rolling out the company's own hardware soon, giving them piles of new software features including a system-wide dark theme, redesigned gesture navigations, improved notification controls, and privacy enhancements, all among plenty of other changes.
Dark Mode toggled in Android 10.
According to Google, Android 10 has less than 50 new features, but our own (probably more pedantic) count is already well past 100. You should be familiar with the headlining changes even if you've been living under a rock for the last six months, but there are plenty of less marketable tweaks like MAC address randomization, visual reorganizations, and piles of new APIs.
Our top five favorites in no particular order are:
- Project Mainline, which allows system components to be upgraded separately from the OS.
- Dark Theme for enhanced night-time eye comfort.
- New gesture navigation for fluid, iOS-style swiping between apps, navigating back, going "home," and launching Google Assistant.
- A less lag-tastic share menu. It might still lack some features we'd like to see, but the new share menu loads a whole lot faster than the old one, and at least targets won't change as your finger is about to tap them.
- Reworked permissions and privacy that includes more granular location options, restrictions on background activities, and fewer identifiable features for tracking/targeting.
Android 10 may have marked the end of more than one era, but it's the next step in our favorite operating system and our raison d'être here at Android Police. For more details on precisely what Android 10 brings to the table, check out our monumental list of Android Q features.
New gesture navigation system in Android 10.
Not every anticipated feature is being delivered with this update, though. You may remember an accessibility service called Live Caption, which transcribes audio from apps in real time and was shown off back at I/O earlier this year. That won't be rolling out until later this fall, according to Google. Support for gestures in third-party launchers will also have to wait until a post-launch update.
While Google's Pixels will be first to get the Android 10 update, the company is working with partners and other manufacturers to get it into more phones. A dozen other OEMs participated in the Android Q Beta Program, so the delay will be longer for some of us than others. (If history is any indicator, Essential fans won't have long to wait at all.)