Photo Credit: XDA-Developers
The next major iteration of Android, tentatively called Android Q, is still a few months away if Google's release cycle is anything to go by. But an early preview build of the upcoming Android version has leaked, revealing a tonne of details about the new features that will arrive with Android Q. A system-wide dark mode, more control over app permissions, a desktop mode tool, multiple new developer options, and new accessibility controls are among the new features that might greet smartphone users once Google begins the official roll out of Android Q.
The Android Q version being talked about is a leaked early build said to have been created in January itself with the Android security patch for February. XDA-Developers flashed the leaked Android Q build on a Pixel 3 XL and uncovered the new features, some of which might never make it to the stable build. One of the most prominent features spotted in the leaked Android Q build was a system-wide dark mode option that was enabled by activating the ‘Set Dark Mode' toggle. An option to automatically enable the feature based on the timing of a day was also spotted.
Android Q's system-wide Dark Mode imparts a dark shade to UI elements such as settings, launcher, volume panel, and even notifications from third-party apps, the leaked build shows. There is also a related tool in the developer options called ‘override force-dark' which enables dark mode for apps that lack native dark mode support as well as third-party apps to a limited extent. However, it is not known how Android Q's system-wide dark mode will work in case of apps which have native support for a dark theme such as Google's own Phone and Message apps. The mention of Android Q's system-wide dark mode has previously been spotted in a post on Chromium bug tracker following which it was later blocked from public viewing.
When it comes to accessibility features, two new tools might arrive with Android Q. The first one is ‘Time to take action' that lets users choose how long they want an action-prompting message to be shown before it disappears. The ‘Time to read' tool will allow users to specify the duration for which they want messages to be visible. Other minor discoveries include a ‘sensors off' tool in the quick settings for disabling all sensors, new screen lock features, pop-up appearance of the app installation dialog and new filters in a file app which sorts files in types such as images, audio, video, and documents among others. It is worth reiterating here that the new features were extracted from an early build of Android Q and may not make it to the final build.
Android Q may also bring more privacy-focused tools. The revamped permissions controls spotted in the leaked build of Android Q indicate that users will be able to easily view the permissions granted to an app and also choose to restrict a few of them depending upon the usage status of an app. Moreover, the leaked build of Android Q is also seen to let users easily check which apps are using location data, thanks to a location icon which appears in the status bar. The presence of a developer option called ‘force desktop mode', which is described as ‘force experimental desktop mode on secondary displays', indicates that Android Q might also introduce a native desktop mode functionality like DeX by Samsung.
Talking about developer options, it appears that a rich catalogue of developer tools will debut with the next major version of Google's mobile OS. Freeform windows for multi window view, ‘Game Update Package Preferences' for choosing a graphics driver, a flag for enabling a native screen recorder and another one for viewing the current wallpaper on the always-on display are among the other new options added to the developer options. The location of certain tools and icons has also been tweaked in Android Q. anGoogle has previously detailed additional Android Q features such as multi-resume for running multiple apps simultaneously, however, an expected timeline for Android Q's arrival is yet to be revealed.