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7

Android Q Beta 4 allows apps that can use overlays to launch background activities

In Android Q Beta 3, background activities were made the scourge of the kingdom. No background app could start a foreground task. Sure, it was meant to stop any malicious developers from doing some unwanted snooping on their users' devices, but it also cuts off automation apps like Tasker from triggering their jobs. Google does allow for exceptions to this ban, but none of them have suited those apps until the company introduced a new exception to the list with the release of Android Q Beta 4: SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW.

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22

'Face authentication' details in Android Q Beta 4 tease upcoming biometric support

Google's plans for better face recognition have been known for a while. After all, Apple's Face ID is so good that Google has to do something to play catch-up. According to teardowns by both 9to5Google and XDA Developers, new "face authentication" labels (strings) for settings options are hidden in Android Q Beta 4, and a search of the Settings app is showing related settings for some.

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11

[Update: It's back] Notification snoozing has disappeared in Android Q Beta 3 for some, hopefully it's a bug

The ability to snooze notifications is a divisive feature, with some (like me) using it fairly often and others at AP saying they never do. If you fall into the first camp and have installed the third Android Q Beta that became available yesterday, you may have noticed that snoozing is no longer possible.

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24

[Update: Gesture to unpin coming] Google's ham-fisted fix for broken screen pinning in Android Q disables it

When Google pushed out the new "fully gestural navigation" mode in Android Q Beta 3, regardless of your general opinion when it came to the new navigation system, there was one objective drawback: it broke screen pinning. Well, Google has fixed this particular issue in typical Google fashion as of Beta 4, disabling screen pinning entirely if you enable the new gesture navigation system.

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19

Dynamic System Updates arrive for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL in Android Q Beta 4

Last year, Google speculated it might be possible for Android devices to boot a GSI (Generic System Image) without needing to unlock the bootloader and flash it. That functionality was shown off as working just recently at this year's Google I/O developer conference, under the name "Dynamic System Updates," or DSU. (It's not the most descriptive name, since DSU effectively lets you live boot into other Android images.) We were told the functionality would eventually make its way to Android Q, and as of Beta 4, it has.

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7

Notification options are easier to understand in Android Q Beta 4

One of Android's strengths has always been notifications, especially with Android Oreo's addition of notification channels. Each app can have different categories of alerts, with different levels of priority. Android Q Beta 4 is making this functionality a bit easier to understand, with the addition of colorful icons and guides.

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30

Android Q Beta 4 adds rotation lock button to gesture navigation

We got our first taste of Google's revamped gesture navigation in Android Q Beta 3, but something was missing. The rotation lock button we loved so much in Android Pie was nowhere to be found. In the new Beta 4 release, Google has added a new rotation button in gesture mode. Although, it looks a bit messy right now.

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35

Android Q Beta 4 once again lets you swipe away notifications from either direction

It's Android Q Beta update day and in our fourth installment, we're looking at where the notifications go to die. Kinda grim, but it's been a point of annoyance since Beta 2, when Google established that notifications can only be dismissed when swiped one way and snoozed or managed upon when swiped the other. The good news here is that this paradigm has gone away for this update.

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152

[Update: OTA rolling out] Android Q enters the home stretch with release of Beta 4

In keeping with the previously projected timeline, Android Q Beta 4 officially lands today. While we dig into this latest version looking for new additions or features (we've already spotted a wider gesture pill in one of the blog post's GIFs), a few details are known: Beta 4 finalizes the Android Q APIs for developers, giving them a firm platform to begin testing their app's compatibility; the SDK for Q (API level 29) is now official; and apps targeting Q can now be published to the Play Store.

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45

Downloads for Android Q Beta 4 are now live, including the Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Android Q Beta 4 has just been released, and while those of us in the Beta Program wait for OTAs to roll out via the more traditional (and slower) means, images for manual flashing are also available — though they don't get updates. If you're chomping at the bit to test out Beta 4, you can pull them down now.

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