Google has released the latest version of its mobile OS, Android 10, but what's new? Your eagle-eyed Android Police editors (with your help) have been combing through the latest version for months since the earliest Android Q betas looking for new features, changes, improvements, and even setbacks. We've enumerated everything we've found here, together with a brief description of what it is or does. So, let's take a look at Android 10.

As always, we have to thank our tipsters (❤️) for our feature-level coverage. Without all of you, our job would be much harder, and we couldn't do this without you.

This may be the final update to our Android 10 feature list. I've spent the last several days reviewing every change listed below to determine what did and didn't make the cut, and there were even a few new tweaks in the "final" release. While I expect there are still a few minor stragglers left to be found, the list below should now be generally accurate to the stable Android 10 release.

I've also reorganized a few things below to better sort individual features (and make the lives of my fellow bloggers using it for reference a bit easier). The lists in each heading were generally chronological before, but now they're more aggressively organized into sub-categories like "Fully Gestural Navigation" and "Notifications" that make it easier to see everything related to a given subject at a glance.

You'll also find two new sections at the end of this list, "Known issues" and "Missing features," which enumerate the current known bugs and details which were spotted, announced, or shown off previously, but didn't make it into the Android 10 stable release for some reason. Google has promised a "post-release update" for some features later, so we may see a significant update land later with some of these omitted details — perhaps with the Pixel 4.

To see what's new since the last update, scroll to the "What's new" section immediately below this update. The new details have also been merged into the full and chunky master list of Android Q features further down.

What's new?

We have some new changes that snuck into the final release, plus a few other details worth noting, like expected features that are still missing. Unfortunately, due to most of us here at AP updating our devices to the final release, we aren't able to peg down precisely when some of these features landed (in prior betas vs. final stable release).

  • New Android logo in boot screen: As part of the recent rebranding effort, Pixels running Android 10 picked up a new logo for Android on the boot screen.
  • "Double-tap to check phone" and "Lift to check phone" show the full lock screen instead of the Ambient Display, as they did on Android 9 Pie.
  • Play Store slices appearing in Settings: Shortcuts to some actions in the Play Store are appearing (following a prompt) in the Settings app on Android 10.
  • The pull-down notification gesture spotted in the Pixel launcher on a leaked beta didn't make the final cut in the Android 10 stable release.
  • More "Pixel Themes" details spotted, even though it still isn't live in Android 10's release: we knew that more extensive customization options were coming in Android 10. They didn't debut with the final release, so Google may be holding them back for the Pixel 4's launch, but some more details regarding these customization options including specific themes have been dug out.
  • Six more emoji than we bargained for: Android 10 comes with 236 new emoji, not 230 as previously expected, plus gender-neutral tweaks to ~300 other emoji and 800 total changes.
  • Smart Unlock's "Trusted face" system is dead: Although it was disabled in a previous beta (with a workaround), the feature has been entirely removed, probably in anticipation of a new "Face authentication" feature to debut with the Pixel 4.
  • Touching the fingerprint sensor no longer keeps your phone awake: The unofficial "hack" to keep your phone's screen on by resting your finger against the rear fingerprint sensor has been killed in Android 10 (at least, for the Pixels that have it). It may be a bug, there's an item in the issue tracker for it, we'll have to see.
  • The ability to select images in the recents/multitasking UI is back in Android 10 after it was broken in the early Android Q beta.
  • Battery stats changes in the notification shade can be reverted: The Android Q betas replaced the remaining battery percentage in the expanded notification shade with an estimate of battery longevity, but not everyone likes the change. A workaround has been found, though: disabling Device Health Services reverts you back to battery percentage.
  • Feature Flags removed from Android 10: Those Feature Flags spotted in the early Android 10 betas, (removed in Beta 3), are still gone as of the final Android 10 release.
  • The Android version number is listed in the expanded quick settings shade if Developer Options are enabled.
  • All notifications are silent for some on Android 10 if no silent notifications are present — probably (hopefully?) a bug.
  • Device sensors (rotation, brightness, proximity, etc.) are broken on Android 10 for some, though there is a (very complicated) temporary fix.
  • "Device admin" has been deprecated in Android 10, breaking Exchange account sync for some implementations. Some have reported the issue was fixed with a subsequent app update, or changing PIN length for sign-in.
  • Battery charge fails to stay full for some on Android 10.
  • Android 10 has a known memory leak related to the new Bubbles/chat heads notifications.
  • Some Verizon customers are experiencing a serious delay when dialing out for calls on Android 10, though it should be fixed via an update to the My Verizon app.
  • New "Rescue Mode" option in the Android 10 bootloader for (at least some) Pixels appears to allow ADB commands without a boot or recovery environment, plus a new "fastbootd" option that shoots you to a dedicated fastboot mode without rebooting again to the bootloader.
  • Live Caption shown off at I/O this year doesn't seem to have made it into the stable release of Android 10 — though Live Transcribe, presumably based on similar tech, was released for devices running Android 5.0 and later.
  • Audio input can be shared between two or more apps on Android 10: This feature likely builds on the new Audio Capture API meant for things like Live Caption, though it could also be useful in other ways, though at least one of the apps must be registered as an accessibility service. It likely can't be used for things like call recording, due to other limitations, though. (More details here.)
  • As expected, the new gestures don't work for third-party launchers in Android 10's stable release.
  • The "time to read" accessibility setting didn't make the final cut in Android 10 stable. Based on our own tests, it previously controlled toast-type notifications. The new "time to take action" setting has expanded to control toasts as of the Android 10 stable release, so the two settings are effectively one now.

The Android Q feature list

Entirely new Q features

General visual changes

  • Rounded screen corners/notches in screenshots: As of Beta 1, Android Q shows both the rounded corners on screens in devices like the Pixel 3, as well as the notch on the Pixel 3 XL. This may have been a mistake, and we might see this reverted, or it could be the norm going forward. Time will tell.
  • Grayscale options for individual apps: We don't know what it's going to look like or how it may manifest, but Google assures us Android Q will eventually allow developers to set individual apps as grayscale — presumably separately from the existing user-facing option via Digital Wellbeing's Wind Down setting.
  • App info redesign, option to open app itself, notification stats, "Disable" becomes "Uninstall": In Android Q Beta 1, the app info pane has seen a bit of a visual makeover, with newly centered icons and text. You can now open the app directly from it, daily notification averages are shown, and Google has changed "Disable" to "Uninstall" for system apps (and "Enable" became "Install"). This pseudo-uninstallation process also no longer offers to remove app updates.
    • Google has decided to revert that last change. "Disable" is back. A few other options in app info have also been renamed.
  • Ambient Display shows music info during playback: If your Pixel is playing back music on Android Q Beta 1, the Ambient Display will show details about the current track.
  • New battery icon: Following the style set by Google's new iconography elsewhere, you get an outline to the battery icon, and battery saver no longer makes it orange.
  • Profile picture in Settings: Pretty self-explanatory, your Google account's avatar appears now in the top right, sort of like some other Google-made apps. It is also a shortcut to account settings, device information, emergency info, and payment methods.
  • Moved Quick Settings edit button and carrier name: Beta 3 moved all these to different corners, rather than in a line at the bottom.
  • Bluetooth devices get colorful icons: Following the iconography changes elsewhere, Beta 3 moves to more colorful icons for different types of devices in Bluetooth settings.
  • File picker gets indicator to pull up for more options: 'nuf said, Beta 3.
  • Emergency information gets a redesign: As of Beta 3, header text is red, information is sorted into cards, and the entire UI looks a bit different, hiding field editing behind new edit buttons.
  • New Wi-Fi icon: Beta 4 adds an outline around the Wi-Fi icon, better matching the outlined battery.
  • Signal strength indicator icon gets an outline to match Wi-Fi and battery.
  • Slightly smaller app labels in the Pixel Launcher (appeared in Q Beta 6).
  • Slightly tweaked animation for opening app drawer on Pixel Launcher: Icons on home screen move "in" as well as fading out (appeared in Q Beta 6).

Modifications to existing features

Privacy tweaks

  • Tweaks to identifiable permissions like location, IMEI MAC address, background app changes: Android Q, as of Beta 1, limits access to non-changeable device IDs like the MAC address or IMEI, and further changes permissions to provide options so they can be granted "only while the app is in use," rather than just a blanket yes/no. That means an app that isn't immediately open doesn't necessarily have access to your location. Background apps also can't suddenly change focus to bring themselves forward anymore.
  • Clipboard managers are ded: Although clipboard managers can provide utility in some workflows, the permissions they rely on could be used surreptitiously by nefarious apps in ways that could violate your privacy. From Android Q on, Google's giving them the boot. Only input method editors (keyboard apps, etc.) and foreground apps with focus will get access to the clipboard.
  • Revoke permissions at first launch for apps targeting older (pre-Oreo) API levels: Apps that haven't updated to target Android 8.0 Oreo will spit a new interstitial screen at launch that asks which permissions you'd like to enable, allowing you to manually disable those you don't want — and maybe break the app in the process.
    • As of Beta 2, Android will ask for permissions to be granted again when launching apps installed before the update.
  • Overlay attack mitigation: In the world of Android security, overlay-based attacks are one of the bigger problems, but Android Q works to mitigate their effect by changing how the overlay permissions work. From now on they'll need to be granted again every time you open an app that uses them.
  • Smart Lock developer options: Tweaks to how "trust agents" (like Google's Smart Lock) can keep the device unlocked.
    • In what might be related, Smart Lock's "Trusted Face" feature is broken in Beta 6, though there's a workaround. 
  • MAC address randomization: Initially added in Android P as an experimental feature, MAC address randomization is now on by default in Android Q — though it's consistent, you will see the same randomly generated address when connecting to the same network again. It can be disabled if you need to turn it off, though.
  • Scoped Storage in Android Q nerfs filesystem access: Apps targeting Android Q will be limited in how they can access the filesystem via new isolated storage sandboxes. That means apps won't need permissions to write their own files, while also enhancing security between apps through isolated storage. It also means that they won't have blanket filesystem access by default. Old permissions aren't going away any time soon, and apps targeting platforms before Q will work via a "compatibility mode" that doesn't include these restrictions.
  • Encryption for all devices, including low-end hardware: Performance remains a question, but Android Q will require disc encryption, even on low-end hardware and.
  • TLS 1.3 will be enabled by default, and biometrics will now be classified as explicit and implicit based on type for different levels of security and privacy in different circumstances, plus other developer-facing improvements and changes.
  • All apps on Beta 5 get "all-the-time" location permission to test background location access notifications: As a test of permission granularity and privacy changes in Android Q, Beta 5 has granted all apps with location permission access to your location at all times, to test and show off the notification for background location access. (Don't worry, this shouldn't be the default behavior come final release, it's just a test for the notification.)

Under the hood/API/developer stuff

  • Dynamic Depth data: Android Q will allow for apps to request depth information from the cameras. Google's done some incredible work to extract that information from its cameras (without the help of parallax, I should add), and in Android Q, even third-party apps will be able to make use of that extra data in new and interesting ways. I can't wait to see what gets cooked up.
  • ART enhancements: Developers can enjoy enhanced performance and more efficient garbage collection on Android Q via a suite of impressive but highly technical Android runtime enhancements.
  • Further non-SDK API deprecation: As much as possible, Google doesn't want developers using undocumented APIs in Android, and Android Q furthers this crackdown, expanding the list of affected APIs.
  • Folding phone tweaks: Android Q will feature some developer-facing modifications to better work with the emerging device form factor, but they're all too technical to get into here.
  • Smart home/IoT tweaks for Wi-Fi setup: Configuring smart home gadgets, which almost always need their own special app and require a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection, can be easier in Android Q. Developers will be able to configure their setup apps to have a list of preferred SSIDs, and paired with the expansion of slices to offer a built-in Wi-Fi picker in those apps, that can make the often tedious IoT setup process a little bit faster and simpler for consumers.
  • Apps assigned to default roles will get more permissions: Details are a little sparse on precisely which permissions each category gets, but apps that you assign as the default for a given role — like browser, SMS app, launcher, etc. — will pick up elevated access to certain functions based on that role.
  • Foldables (running Q) added to Android Studio emulator: Developers looking to get a head start on developing for foldable devices can do so via the Canary release of Android Studio 3.5, which includes emulator images that have folding functionality.
  • API for microphone direction: Android Q includes new APIs that allow developers to request specific microphone directions like "front" or "back."
  • New "Notification Assistant" API for apps like Tasker: Android Q may be making things harder for apps that harness things like automation or overlays, but Google is introducing a new default app setting and associated API that might mitigate things for those sorts of apps slightly — at least when it comes to notifications.
    • This feature isn't intended for general public use, though. After enabling it in Beta 3 and accidentally publishing documentation for the API, the pages have been taken down, and Google has confirmed that these actions were intentional. Notification Assistant is an invite-only API club.
  • Vulkan 1.1 required on all 64-bit devices running Q or higher: Support for Vulkan API 1.1 was introduced on Android P, but as of Q and forward it will be a hard requirement for 64-bit devices.
  • AV1 video codec, Opus audio codec: Android Q will have native support for the new, data-saving AV1 video codec and the Opus audio codec.
  • Device temperature API: Smartphones get a lot warmer now than they used to — at least, excluding Qualcomm's wonderful Snapdragon 808/810. With developers already pushing the limits of passive cooling with heatpipes, as well as external active cooling solutions, a new Thermal API can further help apps respond to changes in temperature for an enhanced experience.
  • Audio Playback Capture API: A new API is behind the upcoming magic of Live Caption shown off at I/O, which allows for real-time subtitling of any audio being played on your device. However, the app could also be used for other novel purposes by enterprising developers.
  • "Device admin" has been deprecated in Android 10, breaking Exchange account sync for some implementations. Some have reported the issue was fixed with a subsequent app update, or changing PIN length for sign-in.
  • Audio input can be shared between two or more apps on Android 10: This feature likely builds on the new Audio Capture API meant for things like Live Caption, though it could also be useful in other ways, though at least one of the apps must be registered as an accessibility service. It likely can't be used for things like call recording, due to other limitations, though. (More details here.)

Known issues

  • Device sensors (rotation, brightness, proximity, etc.) are broken on Android 10 for some, though there is a (very complicated) temporary fix.
  • Battery charge fails to stay full for some on Android 10.
  • Android 10 has a known memory leak related to the new Bubbles/chat heads notifications.
  • Some Verizon customers are experiencing a serious delay when dialing out for calls on Android 10, though it should be fixed via an update to the My Verizon app.
  • As expected, the new gestures don't work for third-party launchers in Android 10's stable release.
  • All notifications are silent for some on Android 10 if no silent notifications are present — probably (hopefully?) a bug.
  • "Device admin" has been deprecated in Android 10, breaking Exchange account sync for some implementations. Some have reported the issue was fixed with a subsequent app update, or changing PIN length for sign-in.

"Missing" features

  • Live Caption shown off at I/O this year doesn't seem to have made it into the stable release of Android 10 — though Live Transcribe, presumably based on similar tech, was released for devices running Android 5.0 and later.
  • "Pixel Themes" still isn't here yet, though we have an idea for what to expect.
  • As expected, the new gestures don't work for third-party launchers in Android 10's stable release.
  • Smart Unlock's "Trusted face" system is dead: Although it was disabled in a previous beta (with a workaround), the feature has been entirely removed, probably in anticipation of a new "Face authentication" feature to debut with the Pixel 4.
  • Touching the fingerprint sensor no longer keeps your phone awake: The unofficial "hack" to keep your phone's screen on by resting your finger against the rear fingerprint sensor has been killed in Android 10 (at least, for the Pixels that have it). It may be a bug, there's an item in the issue tracker for it, we'll have to see.
  • Feature Flags removed from Android 10: Those Feature Flags spotted in the early Android 10 betas, (removed in Beta 3), are still gone as of the final Android 10 release.
  • Tasker-like "Rules" functionality is still missing.
  • Messages is missing a lot of notification channels in Settings, though it isn't clear if that's intentional. They're still available per-conversation in the app itself.
  • The Feedback app was removed from the stable Android 10 release, but that's probably to be expected.
  • Dual-SIM eSIM functionality landed for the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, but other Pixels with the eSIM included on previous dual-SIM tests don't appear to have the feature — that may be intentional and there could be a reason behind it, but it's missing for some that had it during the betas.
  • "Fast Share," the anticipated Android Beam replacement, still isn't present in Android 10 yet, though it's possible that it might be delivered via the Files app and be a feature separate from (if well-integrated into) Android 10 itself.
  • The pull-down gesture for notifications in the Pixel Launcher spotted in a leaked beta isn't present in the final release, it isn't clear if Google changed its mind or if the feature is still planned for a later update.
  • The translation feature spotted in the recents/app switcher on a leaked build also didn't pan out in the stable Android 10 release.
  • No way to set the Dark Theme to follow a schedule like specific hours or sunrise/sunset — kind of a crazy omission considering it had an "automatic" setting when it wasn't just a toggle, and there's an ADB command for sun up/down.
  • What happened to "Adaptive Notifications?"  We didn't really know what it did, though the "gentle" notifications its too-short description seemed to rely on are now gone. Still, a permission and Developer option remain.