The latest version of the world’s most popular operating system, Android, has been released. Android 10 brings a myriad of improvements that will help users focus, save battery life, monitor apps for privacy concerns and many more.
Instead of the usual alphabetised, tasty dessert naming scheme (such as Nougat, Oreo and Pie), Android Q is now simply Android 10 (used interchangeably). This new generation, Android 10 promises upgrades that take the platform to a new level. Here a few.
A true Dark Theme
Finally! Android introduces a true way to dim the screen that’s not limited to the quick settings and a few system apps. This system wide dark theme is in line with the industry trend to offer a mode that darkens the screen so you aren’t blinded when using your phone at night or you simply like things dark. Phones with OLED screens may also see battery life improvements as the screen will turn of pixels not in use.
New Gesture Navigation
Android 10 comes with new ways to move around the OS, replacing the usual Home, Back and Multi-tasking buttons. Users can now swipe up from the bottom of any screen to go home, swipe right from either the right or left edge to go back and swipe up and hold to access the app switcher.
Additionally, users are able to swipe right on the bottom of the screen to access apps open in the background. iPhone users are probably raising their eyebrows now at the similarities with Apple’s own implementation. However, Google says “research” was done on where users can comfortably reach certain parts of the screen. But if you don’t like gestures, you can switch back to the old three button bar at the bottom.
This new feature allows users to get captions on screen for video or audio files automatically, even without an internet connection. This will help hearing impaired users get a better experience of content on their phones.
Improvements to Digital Wellbeing
Digital Wellbeing was introduced in last generation’s Android 9 Pie. The latest version of Android sees improvements to the feature with new capabilities.
Focus Mode (now in Beta) helps users “pause” apps when it’s time to… focus. By selecting certain “distracting apps” users can effectively hide pop-ups and notifications by enabling the mode.
Family Link enables parents to keep tabs on how their children use their phones. The feature, allows parents to set screen limits, set app restrictions, view app activities and even see where children are.
Project Mainline is a new initiative that will enable Google to push important security updates to devices through the Play Store without having to wait for the manufacturers to send them out.
Privacy tools have been improved with more granular controls for functions such as location access. Users can now restrict apps to only track location when in use, always or not at all.
The new update is available for Google Pixel devices and will come to other phones later.
— Written by Renor C.