Android 10 new features were officially released on September 3, 2019, Google’s Iconic Mobile OS formerly known as Android Q has been in beta for months but now it’s officially rolling out first to Google’s own line of Pixel phones, then to everyone else.
First announced and unveiled at Google’s annual developer conference I/O, Android 10 brings a native dark mode, enhanced privacy and location settings, support for foldable phones and 5G phones, and more. Here’s our detailed report of all the best features you can expect to see in Android 10.
We’ve been analyzing the new version and Android 10 features in-house and have found some interesting new features we want to quickly bring to your attention. But before we get to that part, let’s first cover, very briefly, the basics of the new Android 10 operating system.
Android 10 Basics
Let’s see first the basics of its beta version which early released for testing on March 13, 2019, which was tested exclusively on their Pixel phones, including the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL.
The company went on to release a total of six beta versions before the final release in September. Unlike the previous versions of Android, Google has dropped the traditional dessert-based names that have been used for versions of Android for the past 10 years including Pie, Oreo, Marshmallow, and Nougat.
The new version has simply been addressed as Android “Q” since the beta release. On August 22, 2019, Google announced that Android “Q” would officially be branded as Android 10, ending the practice of naming major versions after foods. And Google did give us an explanation for that:
The company stated that the dessert names were not quite resonating with their international users due either to the dessert not being internationally-known, or being difficult to pronounce in some languages. David Burke, who is Android’s vice president of engineering, mentioned that most desserts beginning with “Q” were “exotic” and that he personally would have chosen “queen cake.” David also stated that there were references to “qt” — which is an abbreviation of “Quince Tart” — within internal files and build systems relating to the release.
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Another important thing to note is that the Android robot logo has now seen a corresponding rebranding, consisting of only a robotic head resting inside the numeral “0.”
The All-New Features of Android 10
1. NO MORE BACK BUTTON. YES GESTURE
Traditionally, Android has always had a back button for navigational purposes. But Google has introduced a new gesture navigation system as part of Android 10 features, in place of the back button. However, the new gesture feature does more than backward navigation.
With simple swipes, users can also pull up the home screen and fluidly move between tasks. When swiped up on the line, it goes to the home screen, when swiping left or right, apps are switched to another, and when swiped in from the edge of the screen, the screen goes back. There’s more, but the key thing is that every significant function is now accessible through a gesture.
2. LOCATION PERMISSION ENHANCED PRIVACY & SAFETY
Android 10 features a new dedicated location section in your phone’s privacy settings giving users more control over the location data they share with apps.
This means they can choose to share location data with apps only while they’re in use, all the time or not at all and receive reminders when an app uses their location in the background. There’s also an option to opt-out of ad retargeting and personalization and all privacy settings, including location, web and app activity and app permissions, are now in one place.
The Android 10 features designers & developers put enough importance on your safety, it helps keeps you safe when urgent situations occur. “ELS” can send enhanced location directly from Android handsets to emergency services when an emergency call is placed.
3. NEW PARENTAL CONTROLS
Parental controls, which are already available via the Family Link app in the Google Play Store, will be built into Android 10 and accessible in the Digital Wellbeing settings.
This tool offers parents a way to monitor and manage their kids’ screen time by setting app-specific time limits and granting them “five more minutes” of bonus time, for example. Parents can also manage content via category and specific apps and quickly view app activity, manage apps and content restrictions, and see where they are.
4. DARK THEME
Users have long been asking for a dark mode, and Google has finally answered. You’ll be able to have the entire system in a darker hue and the idea is to make it easier on your eyes and save battery life, particularly on OLED phones, though the claims that dark mode reduces eye strain are unproven.
Turning on the dark theme is pretty straightforward: just pull down the Quick Settings tile or access the display section in the phone’s settings. Also, the mode will automatically activate when an Android 10 phone is switched to battery-saving mode.
At launch, this feature will likely be limited to Google’s own apps, such as Gmail, Calendar and Photos, but the company is offering developers an API for enabling dark themes so they can make sure their apps follow the rest of the operating system.
5. SMART REPLY TO OTHER MESSAGING APPS
In Android 10 features, Google’s Smart Reply feature as it we know it from Gmail will be available in third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Signal.
This feature uses machine learning to suggest three short responses that might suit the message you received, such as a thumbs-up emoji. Basically, it’s anticipating what you’re going to say before you say it. The Android 10 version of Smart Reply can also anticipate actions and will, for instance, suggest opening up the address your friend sent you in Google Maps. Handy.
Also in messaging, there’s 65 new emoji including new “gender-inclusive” designs for haircuts, weightlifting, and the sauna.
6. NEW AND UPGRADED EMOJIS
Android 10 ships with it a huge collection of both new and redesigned emojis you’ve never seen before, including gender-inclusive designs like gender non-specific representations of professions.
To use the new emojis on Android 10 OS, users will need to ensure that they have the latest version of the Gboard app.
7. FOCUS MODE
Have you ever tried using your Android phone to do some focus work but got distracted by some other apps? Android 10 solves that problem with Focus Mode.
The Focus Mode feature allows you to select apps on your phone that you consider being distracting. Once you’ve done the selection, anytime you need to get focus work done, you can quickly toggle your phone over into Focus Mode to temporarily silence those apps. Bye-bye distracting WhatsApp group notifications!
8. LIVE CAPTION
Want to see the text of videos and audios playing on your smartphone? Live Caption is a feature in Android 10 that uses on-device machine learning to put real-time captions on videos, podcasts, audio messages and even on stuff you record yourself in any app.
Additionally, it can also suggest actions. This means it can open the appropriate app for things like an address, URL, or video straight from the messaging app without requiring you to copy and paste anything. For example, when someone sends you a message with an address or a YouTube video, you can open and navigate the address URL in Google Maps or open the video on YouTube without having to copy and paste.
9. QR CODE FOR WIFI & IMPROVED SHARE SHEET
want you might not need a password to connect to WiFi anymore. A QR code will suffice. Dubbed ‘Easy Connect’, the new system lets you create a QR code that others can use to access your WiFi keeping your password secure.
It is now quicker and easier to share content from apps with your contacts. You can also preview content before you send it.
10. AUDIO FEATURES WITH HEARING AID SUPPORT
Android 10 features also took care of your love for music, it let two apps on your phone record or listen to audio at the same time. “Before Android Q the input audio stream could only be captured by one app at a time,” Google writes in their developers’ forum. “Once an app started to capture audio, all other apps had no way to access the audio input until the capturing app stopped.”
But now, you might be able to get two applications to listen to audio input at the same time. For instance, you could depend on privacy settings and permissions, use the voice recorder app while also speaking to Google assistant.
In addition, the upgrade also has something called the AudioPlaybackCapture API (Application Programming Interface), which lets you capture audio from another app that is playing. This used to be a feature restricted to video, but now there is an audio option as well.
One very important feature and it well admired in Japan, Android 10 now has built-in support for streaming media and calls directly to hearing aids. Using Bluetooth low energy so that you can stream all week.
11. THERMAL API
The Thermal API lets apps know the state of the chipsets and processors in the phone. If the apps detect that the phone has warmed up, they can make changes to how they function in order to bring the temperature down and restore optimum performance. “When the device reports thermal stress, apps and games can help by backing off ongoing activities to reduce power usage in various ways,” Google says.
12. SETTING PANELS
You might not have to jump through multiple pages to get to the phone settings you want. Settings Panels lets you access phone settings that are contextual to the app that you currently have open.
For example, if you’re on Chrome and there’s no connectivity, Chrome will automatically open the Connectivity settings panel on your page, instead of you having to juggle the Chrome and the Settings app to get what you want.
Bubbles are notifications ‘bubbles’ that will now pop up on your screen, even when you are using other applications. They are designed for multitasking, but the feature can also be turned off if you don’t like it.
14. FIT TO FOLDABLES
Folding phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X might have gotten off to a bad start, and they haven’t been given much of mention recently, but at I/O Google did reinforce its support for the upcoming wave of devices.
The company optimized Android 10 features with changes to its multi-resume and display functions, to ensure apps can run simultaneously alongside other apps and transition seamlessly from a small to tablet-sized screen when a device is unfolded. Developers can start building and testing with Android’s foldable emulator to check that their apps scale properly across different screen dimensions and resolutions – in time for the release of these long-awaited devices.
15. 5G READY
Depending on where you are and who you ask, 5G is here and it’s expected to virtually remove streaming lag, opening up the door for real-time video collaboration, AR/VR-based apps, and multiplayer game streaming. Google is bundling in 5G compatibility and extending existing APIs for Android 10 – this will allow developers to get ready for the new era and make sure their apps can make the most of “superfast” speed
16. THEMING OPTION
Beyond the dark mode, there are more options for customizations in Android 10.
In the Developer Options area of Settings, you can find a new Theming section where you can change the accent color of your phone. The default color is the pixel blue, but users have the option to change to any of the following hues:
Combine the dark mode with the theming option, and you can turn your phone into an aesthetically pleasing piece of technology.
Of course, Google has been rolling out dark themes to all its system applications, including Google Calendar, Google Fit, YouTube, and more, but now, Google is simply making the dark mode feature available for your entire phone and it can easily be turned on or off via a Quick Settings toggle.
One Another feature for battery adaptive improvements, early launched in Android 9, this feature uses machine learning to predict which apps you’ll use in the next few hours and which you likely won’t, so your phone only spends battery power on the apps you care about. Another feature to detect contaminants, If moisture or debris is detected in your USB port, a notification will be sent to you and accessories will not function!
This is great for prolonging battery life especially for phones with OLED screens, such as higher-end smartphones, as only the pixels that are not black consume electricity.
There are a lot more other new Android 10 features, including new enterprise features such as the ability for corporate-owned devices to be provisioned with a work profile through zero-touch enrollment, ability to use different keyboards for your personal and work profiles, app timers for specific websites so you can balance your time on the web, Real-time transcriptions around you and more.
Elsewhere, a popular feature in the Chrome browser and YouTube app, Google Maps will soon gain a private-search mode. By turning on the feature, users can search for and navigate to places without having data saved or linked back to their Google accounts. The private search mode can be activated by tapping on the profile picture in the search bar at the top of Google Maps. Google plans to offer this feature for the search app at a later stage.
Ultimately it seems Google is taking the fight to it’s rival iPhone X with a lot more ads on!