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94

[Update x2: More changes] After a week with Android Q Beta 1, here are all the little changes we've noticed

[Update x2: More changes] After a week with Android Q Beta 1, here are all the little changes we've noticed

There are quite a few new features (and some removed functionality) present in the first beta of Android Q — we've documented around 50 major changes already. There are also plenty of smaller tweaks that don't warrant separate coverage, so we're going over them here. Without further ado, here all of the smaller changes in Android Q Beta 1.

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71

Google starting to roll out Pixel system updates through Play Store

Google starting to roll out Pixel system updates through Play Store

Last week, evidence was uncovered that Google planned to distribute system updates using the Play Store. System updates have been accessed through the Settings app for Android's entire history, so moving them to the Play Store would be an interesting move. Now it appears the rumors are true, as multiple Pixel owners have reported seeing a 'Google System Update' notification on Android Q Beta 2.

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34

Google reveals additional sessions for I/O about Chrome OS, Android Q, and more

Google reveals additional sessions for I/O about Chrome OS, Android Q, and more

Google I/O is less than a month away, but the schedule is still in flux. The initial list of presentations and sessions was announced late last last month, but now many more sessions have been added to the list, including talks about Android Q and Chrome OS.

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52

[Update: OTAs arriving] A patch for Android Q Beta 2 is available for download, OTAs coming soon

[Update: OTAs arriving] A patch for Android Q Beta 2 is available for download, OTAs coming soon

Android Q Beta 2 brought with it a lot of new features, though it's not surprising that some stuff is being broken given that it is a beta. Google today announced a patch for Q Beta 2, and factory and OTA images are available for installation right now. OTAs will roll out within the next 24 hours.

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31

[Update: One step further] You can revoke permissions for older apps in Android Q before installing them

[Update: One step further] You can revoke permissions for older apps in Android Q before installing them

Android used to be the Wild West when it came to permissions: Apps would tell you what parts of your phone they needed access to before you installed them, and you could either accept that or not use the app at all — it was an all-or-nothing deal. Over the years, Google got its act together and realized that wasn't the best approach (overshooting the mark at times).

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83

[Update: Files by Google updated] Scoped Storage in Android Q Beta 2 limits how apps can access files

[Update: Files by Google updated] Scoped Storage in Android Q Beta 2 limits how apps can access files

Privacy has been one of the main themes with Android Q so far. Permissions can be blocked to background apps, clipboard managers have been killed off, and runtime permissions are changing for old apps. It seems Google is just getting started, as Android Q Beta 2 comes with major changes to how apps can access local files.

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57

Android Q to support 3D Touch-like pressure sensitive actions

Android Q to support 3D Touch-like pressure sensitive actions

Back in 2017, Google brought long-press actions with Oreo that mimicked Apple's 3D Touch without the need for pressure-sensitive screens. Despite the result being similar, Android users needed to spend an extra second to trigger a contextual menu. Some manufacturers such as ZTE or Samsung have also implemented proprietary technology to imitate the iPhone's feature, but these were somewhat limited given they weren't available throughout the OS. Four years after Apple introduced 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S, Google appears to be bringing pressure-sensitive actions as standard in Android Q.

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28

Android Q randomizes MAC addresses by default, with per-network customization

Android Q randomizes MAC addresses by default, with per-network customization

In Android P, Google rolled out a developer option to enable MAC address randomization, but it was turned off by default. With the first beta of Android Q, the option became the default, but we hadn't taken the time to look at it before, so let's do so now.

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17

Android Q Beta 2 hints at upcoming Pixel Themes app

Android Q Beta 2 hints at upcoming Pixel Themes app

Slowly but surely, Google is embracing theming in Android. In the first Android Q beta, basic settings in the developer options allowed us to change the font, icon shape, and accent color throughout the OS. In Beta 2, icon shape selection now applies to settings app icons as well as quick settings and home screen apps. At some point in the future, it appears that a standalone Pixel Themes app will control these functions.

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104

[Update x2: Dark mode added] New Feedback app to be bundled with upcoming Android Q beta

[Update x2: Dark mode added] New Feedback app to be bundled with upcoming Android Q beta

We here at AP are champing at the bit waiting for news on Android Q. Those of us who plan to install the beta have our Pixels ready, eagerly anticipating some kind of announcement from Google. Meanwhile, it looks like the company is planning to introduce a dedicated app to submit feedback for those of us who will take the plunge. Appropriately named Android Beta Feedback, this will be the preferred means by which you can report bugs, submit feature requests, and other notes for the Android team.

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