Android Q: exclusive hands-on with the new features

– The new Beta for Android Q is here and we have the exclusive first look.

It's finally time for Google to do what it does at every Google aisle lately, tell us what all the newfeatures that are coming to the next version ofAndroid actually are, and we've got 'em righthere on this phone.

There's new gestures.

There's new notification stuff.

There's always that kind of stuff, but Google's doing some other things that they don't do every year.

So for example, there's anew way to get OS updates, and there's an amazingfeature called live caption.

Let's check it out.

So the first features to talk about are probably the ones thatmost people are gonna notice, and maybe even be the most excited about.

Number one, fan favorite, everyone's been waiting.

There is finally a dark theme.

You just pull down the notification shade.

You tap that dark theme button, and ta-da, it's in dark theme.

The thing to notice about dark theme is it has true proper black, so that will help save battery life.

If you turn on battery saver, it defaults to turning on the dark theme.

Also, a bunch of Google appsare gonna support it natively, so for example, photos, dark theme.

We can go and look at calendar.

Now you may have noticed when I was showing youall those dark theme apps that I was getting around the OS in a completely different way.

There was a new gesturalnavigation system.

Google will try to take a baby step towards it with Android P.

With Android Q, it'sfinally going all the way, and it's not that differentfrom how an iPhone works, so if you're inside an app, youswipe up, it takes you home.

Pretty basic.

If you're home and you swipe up, it takes you to the app drawer.

But you'll notice thatall you see on the bottom of this thing is just a little white bar, so how do you go back? Well, you swipe in fromeither side of the screen, anywhere on the side of the screen, so if I just swipe in fromthe edge of the screen, that serves as a back button.

Swipe in from the rightedge of the screen, the arrow shows up, thatserves as a back button, and that new back gesture is interesting because a lot of Android apps have a app drawer over on the left, and now they're gonna haveto decide if they want the first swipe to open upthe drawer or to just go back.

They can decide that app by app.

Now, if you want to do multitasking, you've got a couple of options.

You can still just quicklyswipe along the bottom of where that little homebutton lozenge bar thing is, or you can swipe up and over to get into a proper multitasking view where you can swipebetween different apps.

So dark theme and the newgesture navigation system.

It's a thing you're gonna notice.

It's a thing everyone's probablymost excited to talk about, but I don't think they'rethe most important things that Google is doing in Android Q.

When it comes to Android updates, the biggest problem's alwaysjust getting the updates.

You never know if yourphone is gonna get it.

You gotta wait for all these approvals.

It's a mess, and every year, Google tries something alittle bit different to fix it.

This year, they're tryingsomething really fascinating.

Google is going to startdelivering OS updates, specifically security and privacy updates, not really big giant feature updates via the Google Play store inthe Google Play infrastructure.

So I ask Steph Cuthbertson, the Director of Androidto explain it to me.

– Project Mainline isabout enabling us to, especially for say thosesecurity sensitive updates to deliver them to you very rapidly.

In fact, as rapidly as Ican update a Google app.

So let's say for example, you've got a securitysensitive part of the OS, which is where this isparticularly useful.

Say media.

With Mainline, we can now deliver those updatesdirectly over the air.

– If you don't have a Google Play phone, say you're in China or you've got some weird knockoff thing.

You might miss out on that, although it is an open-source project, so it might also be ableto help those phones too.

All that security stuff is great, but you're probably wondering about the big major feature updates, and whether or notthey're gonna come faster.

– One of the things that we announced in past years was Project Trouble, which is a great advance towards updating, updates and the release, and one of the things thatwe're seeing with Android Q is the update rates have accelerated.

In fact, for Q Beta Three, we're gonna see 21 devices from 13 OEMs all running Beta Three.

– So that's the update story on Android Q.

It's a little bit of likethey're getting better on getting it pushed out tomore manufacturers faster, but the bigger deal isthey're gonna get those security updates pushed out much more quickly to much more phones.

Google's making privacy and security a big part of its push forAndroid Q, and I don't know, they're gonna have something like 40 or 50 different updatesthat are related to that, but the one that you're probably most likely to see is in settings, there's a new top level privacy option, and that gives you a bunch of different controls formanaging your data on your phone, and that includes both Google stuff, like clearing yourGoogle location history, but also permissions on the phone itself.

So if you go into the permission manager, it shows you all the differentpieces of data you have.

Microphone access, calendar access, call logs, all that stuff, and how many apps had access to it, and you can just digin and turn off access for any app individually.

– Location reminders arealso a great feature, because you're also maybe wondering now, which apps did I turn location on for? I'm not sure I remember all of them, and what's helpful with reminders is in Q, every app that accesses location in Q, it will remind you and say, look, do you want this appto have location access? So you don't have towonder if there's some app running in the backgroundthat has that access.

– All those permissionsand data privacy changes are super, super important, but they're are still a few more user facing features to talk about.

In notifications, if you get a message from any messaging app, you'll see that thereare these new buttons you can press to reply to it, and what's happening here is Android is actually locally on thedevice reading that message.

Nothing gets shared, and then figuring out how to reply to it.

So there's a context relevant reply like show a time or sure, or there's a button for open map, so if it sees that there'san address in there, you can just tap that open map, and it'll jump to theaddress inside Google Maps.

Google's able to do thatbecause it's figured out how to do a bunch oflocal machine learning on Android itself right on the device, and there's another thingthat it can do that it's just, it's frankly flat-out amazing.

So I'm just gonna open up photos here.

I've got a presavedvideo here from Google.

Start watching it, a person here talking, but you can tap this button and once you hit the volume button, and it starts showing you a live caption of what's being said on the video.

You can drag the caption around.

Use a double tap toget more text on there.

You can even resize it if you want to.

What Android is doingis locally on the device listening to the videothat's being played, and then showing you a live caption of what is being said on the video, which is legitimately amazing, but also a real human good if you're deaf or hard-of-hearing, you've got more access to more videos because you can use this inany app, it doesn't matter.

Also if you're not, you can still just watch a video and not annoy everybodyelse that's around you by turning the volume up.

There's a new mode called focus mode which is sort of like donot disturb, but not really.

Basically what you can do is you can say, I'm in focus mode now, and turn off these apps that annoy me, and then they get grayed out, and you can't open themwithout a little popup saying you don't want to open this thing.

It's exactly what I want the digital well-being app timers to be.

It keeps you from openingthem instead of waiting 'til you run out of timewhen you use them too much, and speaking of that digitalwell-being app timer thing, Google is finally integrating its family link software into it, so it's now combined apptimers digital well-being and parental controlsall in the same space right built into the OS.

All right, so after all of that, what do I think of Android Q? Well, we'll have to reviewit to know for sure, but I have two things to say right now.

The first is that a lot of the stuff, it just feels a little bit overdue.

Better gestures, dark mode, and especially better permissions are things that I wish Google had done one, two, four, five years ago even.

So I'm glad they're finally here, but I wish they had comea little bit sooner.

The second thing is that Android Q doesn't have any big grandiose huge ideas about what an operatingsystem on a phone could be.

Last year's Android Pi had all the stuff about slices and actions, blowing up apps, and exploding them all over the interface of the phone, but Q is a little bit more well, it's honestly it's iterative, and that iteration is super important, but I don't think it's gonna fundamentally change the way that youthink about your phone.

Hey everybody, thank youso much for watching.

We've got a ton more Google IO content, but I want to know in the comments, what do you think the Q should stand for? I think it should stand for Quibble.

– [Man] That's not a dessert.

– You know what? Let's not argue about silly things.



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