Google has rolled out Android 10, which was earlier named Android Q, to its Pixel line of devices. The new OS ships with a redesigned Android logo, support for foldable and 5G smartphones, better privacy controls, gesture navigation and more.
The reason for letting go of its dessert-themed names after a decade and moving to number for done for better understanding of the Android users worldwide, according to Google.
Android 10 also comes with new enterprise features that will help users customise their keyboards individually for their work and private profiles. It also comes with 65 new emojis, which includes gender-inclusive designs.
The new OS also builds upon the adaptive battery improvements that were first seen on Android 9 Pie. Android Auto now also comes built-into the Android OS, which means users don’t need to download an extra app.
15 new features Android 10 brings to your device
In addition to the features described above, Android 10 will bring the following 15 features to compatible Android devices, which include a Dark theme for your entire phone, universal application of Smart Reply feature and gesture navigation, among others.
Although only Google Pixel devices are receiving the updates today, the company says they’re working with different brands to upgrade their respective devices to Android 10 by the end of this year.
Android 10 gets users the option to caption the media playing on their phone with a single tap. The live caption feature will be able to show captions for videos, podcasts and audio messages. The feature doesn’t require a WiFi or cellular data network to function.
Users will also be able to get live transcriptions of the ambient sounds in the world around you, such as someone clapping, a dog barking, someone laughing or whistling, and more.
Hearing Aid Support
The latest Android OS comes with support for streaming audio when playing media or during calls directly to hearing aids. This action is performed using BLE (Bluetooth low energy), which ensure longer battery life for the hearing aid.
Android 10 updates bring the following tweaks to the camera on compatible smartphones.
- Support for HEIF imaging (.heic file format) to save still images.
- A new file format that can capture, store and share depth images (AR included) across Android devices
- Monochrome support
- Improved camera permissions for enhanced privacy
Share WiFi details via QR code
Another cool feature that Android 10 brings is that users will now be able to share their WiFi details via a QR code rather than having to share the WiFi password.
Smart Reply feature gets even better with new features such as opening Google Maps directions sent to you directly from the notification bar without having to open the chat window. This feature works with other messaging apps like Signal too, but developers have the option to opt-out and give users suggestions supplied by them. Other than that, it’ll also display recommended actions like an emoticon or text reply that can be sent from the notification drawer.
Another useful feature that comes alongwith Android 10; sound amplifier will let users boost sound, fine-tune it or filter background noise when they’re listening to music, podcasts, watching videos or talking on the phone. The feature will need users to connect headphones to their device to function.
We’ve talked about gesture navigation feature when Android 10 was being developed, and it has officially arrived with three key features that help users go back, switch apps or go to the home screen by swiping on display.
Android 10 also brings a universal Dark theme for compatible devices, which brings a new look to Google Calendar and Photos apps. According to the company, the dark theme uses ‘true black’ and will help in extending the time between charges.
Google brings new privacy controls to Android users with the new OS update, as they’ll find a dedicated Privacy option in the Settings menu, which was previously located under Security & location with two options — Location and a toggle for displaying characters in password briefly when you type it. With the new privacy controls, users will have access to and control over what data is shared on their Web & App activity — the same feature was previously accessible via web on Google account settings. Users can also opt-out of ad retargeting and personalisation.
In addition to the aforementioned privacy controls, users will also have control over when their location is shared with an app — all the time, while in use or never. If an app has access all the time, users will be shown a one-time notification to change that setting.
Android security updates, which are usually neglected by several smartphone manufacturers, will now be sent to devices via Google Play, which should theoretically be faster as it’s similar to how other apps are updated.
The latest Android OS also brings Focus Mode — currently in Beta — which is aimed at helping users block out distractions by temporarily pausing apps.
The family link feature will allow parents to set screen time limits, view app activity, manage what content can be viewed and see the location of their kid’s device.
If the device detects that moisture or debris in the USB port, a notification will be sent to the users, and meanwhile, the accessories will not function with the device.
Also read: Top 7 Android emulators for Windows
Prayank heads the Editorial at Candid.Technology. When not writing, he loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals.
Contact Prayank via email: [email protected]