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Articles Tagged:

Android Q

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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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Google Photos update fixes buggy dark mode on Android Q (mostly)

Using beta software is more often than not a gamble. It's nice to be able to check out all the new features, but some things may be terribly broken. That's the case with Android Q's universal dark mode implementation. As early adopters noticed, there's no toggle to easily enable or disable it, meaning users were stuck with whatever they had chosen on Pie before updating (unless they used adb to change it). Google Photos was one of the most obvious victims of Q's dark mode. The app looked like a chimera of light and dark, but the latest update has now fixed most of it.

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Android Q won't let apps turn Wi-Fi on and off, potentially crippling apps like Tasker

Android is known and loved for the extensive amount of automation and customization that can be achieved through its APIs. One of those is giving apps the ability to turn on and off Wi-Fi without user input. Tasker and IFTTT are major beneficiaries of this capability, but there is always malware that could abuse access to that system feature. To prevent that, Android Q will cut off apps' access to Wi-Fi settings.

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Clipper Sync will shut down May 1, citing clipboard changes in Android Q

Google just released the first Android Q developer preview earlier this month, and we're still digging around to discover all the new stuff. It's clear even from this first version that Google is taking privacy more seriously, and tightening control of the clipboard is part of that. One notable clipboard manager is already planning to retire features in anticipation of Android Q. On May 1st, 2019, Clipper Sync will go offline according to an email sent to users.

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Google mimics iOS navigation gestures with hidden features in Android Q Pixel launcher

Android Ice Cream Sandwich was the first version of the operating system to introduce virtual navigation keys to phones, allowing manufacturers to dismiss physical ones. Although some decided to wait much longer to implement these, — I'm looking at you, Samsung — almost all Android devices nowadays have finally abandoned traditional buttons in favor of on-screen input. With the introduction of the iPhone X, Apple wanted to maximize screen space and therefore designed an ingenious swiping-based navigation system, that didn't require the need for buttons. With Pie, Google took its stab at it, but didn't quite make up its mind between using keys or gestures and instead went for a combination of both.

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Android Q Beta has hidden option for remapping Pixel squeeze gesture to other assistant apps

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL included an 'Active Edge' feature, where squeezing the phone opened Google Assistant. This functionality carried over to the Pixel 3, but there has never been an official way to remap the squeeze action to something else — until now.

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Weekend poll: If you have a Pixel, have you tried Android Q?

The Android Q Beta 1 became available for Google's Pixel devices (including the 2016 Pixel) last Wednesday. As I hope most of our readers would be aware, this advance look at the upcoming release isn't quite ready for prime time, but I'm curious to know how many of our readers decided to take the plunge. If you've got a compatible device, have you flashed Android Q?

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Android Q has a new sound effect for ending calls

Android Q has plenty of major changes, but also many smaller tweaks that take a while to get noticed. Despite smartphones being used less and less for actual phone calls, we've received many tips that Android Q has a new sound effect for ending calls.

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[Update: Released for Pixel 1 and 2] Android Q isn't even out yet, but it has already been rooted

Magisk developer John Wu has a history of quickly rooting both new phones and Android versions almost as soon as they land, but he's exceeded his own already high standards today. Android Q may only exist for consumers as leaked, half-built, buggy builds circulating among forums, but Wu has already rooted it.

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Android Q steps up the fight against overlay-based malware

One of the bigger developer-facing changes we've spotted in Android Q is a mild deprecation of the SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permission which controls overlays. (Think Facebook's chat heads or those Pokémon Go stats apps and you should get the idea.) Sideloaded apps on Android Q will see that permission revoked after 30 seconds, Play Store apps on Q will see it revoked on reboot, and the permission is being taken away entirely on the "Go" version of Android Q.

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