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Android Q officially sunsets Android Beam

Old Android hands should remember when Ice Cream Sandwich brought a brand new feature called "Android Beam" to everyone's favorite operating system. Basically, it was sort of like a much worse version of Apple's recently-released AirDrop, initiating file transfers locally via NFC. Sadly for those that enjoyed it, the feature was removed from Android Q.

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Google's Live Caption is built on new Android Q Beta 3 in-app audio recording API

One of the overarching themes Google is pushing at I/O this year is the miniaturization of voice modeling data — small enough to put into your phone, but robust enough to match what you're saying and deliver new features such as Live Caption with speed and accuracy. But for this feature to work across social media apps, web browsers, and games, it needs to be able to listen to what those apps are putting out. That's now possible with a new audio playback capture API in the latest beta for Android Q.

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[Update: More details] Project Mainline offers Android Q modular security updates

The Google I/O 2019 keynote was, as usual, chock full of cool announcements, and among them was mention of a lofty new goal: Project Mainline. The idea picks up where Treble left off, furthering Android's modularization and making it easier for updates to change core OS components — mitigating the effect of the big, bad Fragmentation monster.

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Background apps can no longer launch activities in Android Q beta 3

Google is following through on a promise it made when it unveiled Android Q. As of the newly launched beta, apps running in the background can no longer launch activities. Google has a good reason for doing this, but it's sure to upset the users of automation apps like Tasker.

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Android Q Beta 3 brings classic navigation buttons to the Pixel 3

Google has been reworking navigation on Android for a few years. Android 9 Pie launched with gesture navigation, and to help speed along adoption, Google didn't officially allow Pixel 3 owners to switch back to the original three-button navigation scheme. However, Beta 3 of Android Q comes with a nice surprise — the original buttons are back.

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Android Q Beta 3 can show WiFi passwords in plain text

Security is all well and good, but convenience is nice, too. The latest Android Q beta includes a very thoughtful feature that makes it easy to share your WiFi passwords, and it's pretty simple. It just shows the password in plain text.

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Android Q Beta 3 introduces simpler alert options for notifications

The third beta of Android Q is in the wild now, and it's a mixed bag so far. There are some good things, like the updated gesture navigation system; and some bad, like the loss of notification snoozing. Certain things are also seeing iterative changes, like the simplified notification alert settings that have appeared in Q Beta 3.

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[Update: OTA, 3a images] Android Q Beta 3 is now available, delivers plenty of new features

Following our previous expectations and just in time for developers in attendance at the ongoing I/O developer conference, Google has just pushed out downloads for Android Q Beta 3. OTAs don't seem to be pushing out via the traditional means just yet, but you can start sideloading the update on your Pixel now. Beta 3 also adds support for 15 other partner devices from 12 OEMs.

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Battery optimization menu is crashing on Android Q Beta 3

A beta is by definition software that you shouldn't consider stable. When Google has trouble keeping bugs at bay even in its release software, we don't expect much from betas. But Android Q beta 3 is proving to be a little problematic — possibly even more so than Beta 2. The new gesture navigation is half-baked and breaking things left and right, snoozing for notifications has disappeared, and there's a bug that could cause you to disable your SIM card without intending to. All of these issues weren't there in Beta 2, and still we're discovering more problems as we go.

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How to access Google Assistant with Android Q's new gesture navigation

Android Q Beta 3 introduced a new iPhone-esque navigation bar with back gestures at the left and right edges of a phone‘s display. While this redesign of Android's most fundamental feature will take some time to get used to, one question was left open from the beginning: How to invoke Google Assistant on devices that don't have the Pixel's squeeze option? Well, it turns out there's a rather hidden gesture for that.

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