Google’s statue for Android Pie.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

Google on Wednesday released the first beta of Android Q, the next version of its popular mobile operating system. 

Early adopters can get started by enrolling any Pixel device, including the original Pixel and Pixel XL. The search giant said a preview software development kit (SDK) is also available Wednesday for developers. 

Android Q brings “a number of additional privacy and security features,” Google said in a blog post, as well as new camera capabilities, faster app startup, enhancements for foldable devices, and more.

Foldable screen support

Android Q lets developers manage how their app is displayed on foldable and large screens. This includes everything from how apps are resized to how apps are muted when not active.

Wi-Fi performance mode

Android Q offers high performance and low latency modes for wireless connections. This will be a boon for real-time gaming and improved voice calls.

JPEG + Dynamic Depth

Many phones have a portrait mode that blurs the background of a subject in a photo. The depth mapping data used to accomplish the effect is discarded after the photo is creates. Dynamic Depth will allow apps to offer specialized blurs and bokeh options.” Developers can use Dynamic Depth data to create 3D images and AR photography. 


The new Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus were the first phones to feature HDR10+ a high dynamic range format for displays. Android Q allows for HDR10+ on phones and tablets that support it. Android Q will also be able to handle AV1 a video codec that allows for higher quality streaming video that uses less bandwidth.

App security

Android Q provides more support for passive authentication like face ID. It also adds specific flows for implicit and explicit authentication. Android Q updates transport layer security to TLS 1.3 which Google claims can establish a secured connection 40 percent faster than TLS 1.2.

Up-to-date Android apps

To allow apps to have the most current security and performance features, Android Q will warn users when they install a new app targeting Android Marshmallow or older. This summer the Google Play store will require all apps to have 64-bit support.

The company said it’ll have more to share about Android Q at Google I/O in May.


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