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Android Q Beta 2: What’s new and what’s different from Beta 1

Developer Previews of Android, as we know, always come with their fair share of experimental features and bring with them their own set of issues which are typically evened out by the time the final release is made available to the public.

Android Q Beta 2 update comes with back-end bug fixes and a few known issues that can affect daily use for developers and consumers alike. Beta 1 brought with it changes that let you change the UI theme, set location permissions in a new way, optimise applications for foldable phones and other experimental features like screen recording.

In the previous article, we mentioned that the Sharesheet is receiving an update with Android Q, and with Beta 2 this feature has been updated to provide a context of what data is shared while maintaining its newfound snappy behaviour.

Android Q is still in early beta stage, so expect bugs. According to Google, “Before you install, check out the known issues. In particular, expect the usual transitional issues with apps that we typically see during early Betas as developers get their app updates ready. For example, you might see issues with apps that access photos, videos, media, or other files stored on your device, such as when browsing or sharing in social media apps.”

Also read: Here is how Android manufacturers are threatening the security of your phone

New Features in Android Q Beta 2

Android Q Beta 2: New features and incremental updates to Beta 1In terms of features, Google has introduced Bubbles — a new way to multitask — and behind the scene update to storage settings known as Scoped Storage (more about this and privacy features has been mentioned below).

Specifically for Developers, Beta 2 — and Android Studio 3.5 with its canary release channel — has made a new foldable device emulator available.

Android Q Beta 2: New features and incremental updates to Beta 1
7.3″ Foldable AVD switches between the folded and unfolded states

Video recording on mobile phones has increasingly become a popular way of creating content, and this receives a boost in the form of directional, zoomable microphones with this update. Applications now have a simple method of controlling the zoomable microphones and can now request for specific microphones to record audio depending upon the conditions.

Android Q Beta 2: New features and incremental updates to Beta 1
Android Studio – AVD Manager: Foldable Device Setup

Some Known Issues

Android platform related

Performance Issues: The system and applications have been found to show slowdowns and devices tend to become unresponsive. These issues may be more prevalent with continuous use of the device.

Permissions: These settings have been found to reset themselves for re-installed applications or when the device reboots.

Google applications related

  • Google Photos
  1. The ability to create collages and manage photos and videos is said to be hindered, and they may not work as expected.
  • Android Auto Audio
  1. The assistant does respond upon being triggered by the hotword although the sound cue is heard.
  2. The audio is rerouted to the phone speaker after a call ends. This happens when a user answers a call while listening to music.
  3. Audio skips are triggered almost one per minute.
  4. Music app selection has no sound cue.
  • Permissions
  1. Connections to the car may be interrupted by a message stating that a ‘USB connect error has occurred’.
  2. While ‘App is in use’ permission is selected Maps is unable to find the users location, and Waze does not refresh and freezes.

More about Scoped Storage 

Scoped storage is one of the main additions in the Android Q Beta 2 update. It provides users with greater control over their files and is designed to help prevent cluttering. It also reduces the overall amount of permissions that need to be granted and increases the safety of other stored files that contain unrelated information with respect to a particular application.

Applications gain their private section in external storage options and need no permissions to access them, but if it wants to access a shared space present on the external storage, it requires a user to approve the action.

You can check here for more detailed information.

More privacy related updates 

  • Background activities have a new level of restriction put on them which requires them to inform the user of when they are going to start any specific activity when the application is not in the foreground.
    • The application can inform the user with the help of an interactive notification.
    • If an application has a behaviour set that is required for its regular activity, it does not need to inform the user.
  • Your device now transmits a randomised MAC address by default and information about a device’s current network state is not freely available.
  • Applications cannot make changes to the device’s Wi-Fi settings and require the user to take action for any needed changes.

Also read: Hacking Android: How your phone can be compromised by a rogue app

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