Android 9.0 Pie, the latest version of the Android OS, has just reached our Android devices, but a newer version is rumored to be already in the works.
Android 10 Q was first mentioned during the Android Developer Summit, where Google hinted that the new version of the mobile OS will be available for all developers earlier than usual. If everything goes according to schedule, the developers may be able to test out Android Q before the source code becomes available on Android Open Source Project (AOSP), an initiative designed to oversee the evolution of the Android operating system.
Android Q Release Date
In the previous Android versions, announcement was made during the Developer Preview in March, while the public beta is announced during Google’s summer annual developer conference held in May or June. Then, the final launch is usually scheduled in August, which is the same schedule followed by Android Pie.
The first devices to run the new version of Android OS are usually the Pixel and Android One smartphones. In fact, a new Google Pixel 3 XL listing on Geekbench boasts of already being pre-installed with Android Q. This looks like a test unit and we’re probably looking at the earliest build of Android 10 here.
Once Android Q has been finalized and tested on Google phones, it will then be prepared and rolled out to other phone manufacturers over the next few months.
Android 10 Q will probably follow the same timeframe as Android Pie, but developers could get their hands on the new OS a little earlier in 2019.
However, not all smartphones will be able to get this upgrade. Only flagships released within last year and this year can enjoy what Android Q has to offer.
Android Q Name
One of the major questions that people wonder about during every new Android OS launch is what it will be called. Google has established a sweet naming system for its operating systems that are released in alphabetical order.
Here’s what Android has so far: Android Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0), Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3) Honeycomb (3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), Jelly Bean (4.1), KitKat (4.4), Lollipop (5.0), Marshmallow (6.0), Nougat (7.0) Oreo (8.0) and the latest, Pie (9.0).
Based on this naming system, the next name should automatically be Android Q. But this letter poses a challenge because it is difficult to find a treat that starts with a Q. A bit of Googling revealed a few options, such as:
- Quality Street
- Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
- Quaker Oats
- Queso Fresco
- Queen of Puddings
- Quail Eggs
The list goes on, but the problem is that none of these treats sound as appealing as their predecessors. So, either Google sticks with this naming system and pick a treat that begins with Q (no matter how unattractive the name sounds), or start an entirely new naming convention. We can only curiously wait and see.
Android Q Features
Although the upcoming Android OS version is still under development, the Google team has started unveiling some of the features that will come with the new OS.
Here are some of the important features that users and developers can’t wait to get their hands on:
- Foldable Phone Support.
Foldable devices are going to be the new trend in the smartphone industry, after Samsung has announced its foldable device, Galaxy F or Galaxy X. Aside from Samsung, other manufacturers have also announced their own versions of the foldable phone, including Motorola, LG, Huawei, and even Apple.
With this upcoming smartphone design, Google has confirmed that the new Android version will offer support for Android devices with foldable screens. One of the features that show Google’s support to this new design is the new update to their battery feature. This feature turns on the battery saving mode when the screen is turned off.
This battery update will allow Android users to get the most out of their battery pack because of low power consumption.
- Multi-Resume Feature
If you appreciate the Split Screen and Picture-in-Picture modes of Android Pie, then you’ll definitely love the upgraded version of these features in Android Q. This feature will also allow users to use all the split app screens even when in active mode. This means that the background apps won’t switch to sleep or inactive mode while you are interacting with the active screen.
All the apps will be active at the same time, running simultaneously regardless of your interaction with the other app screens. This feature will greatly benefit users who love to multitask. For example, you can do social media while watching videos, with both apps running at the same time.
This Android Q feature will be available not only for foldable devices but for the current generation of smartphones as well, signifying the rising trend of multitasking.
Here’s a tip: Multitasking can be draining for your device. Optimize your Android phone with an app such as Outbyte Android Care to maximize your device resources and improve its performance, even when doing different things at once.
- Warning Against Installing Older Apps
Google has recently announced that from August 1, 2018, all new apps being uploaded to the Google Play Store should target devices running Android 8.0 or higher. Developers are no longer allowed to upload an app unless the design is meant for Android 8.
With this update, Android will now release a warning whenever a user is installing an older app. This warning will inform the user that the app being installed is based on Lollipop or other earlier version, and that the outdated app won’t be able to make full use of the latest features of the device.
This Android Q warning feature also stops users from installing apps that won’t work smoothly or efficiently on the latest Android version.
- Improved Treble Support
One of the improvements that Android Q brings is the enhanced Treble compatibility with the new OS version. This new feature provides users with the opportunity to flash Generic System Images (GSI) on Android devices installed with Android Q. Project Treble is Google’s master plan to speed up Android updates.
- Vulkan API
Android 10 Q will be using Vulkan API for user interface rendering instead of OpenGL, which was used by Android P and other recent Android versions. OpenGL is the only standard UI supported by many mobile hardware, but Android Q is going to use Vulkan API while maintaining support for the previous UI. The transition to a Vulcan-powered user interface should lead to smoother animations, faster transitions, and improved battery life.
Google is expected to release the public beta build somewhere in May 2019, with the stable release to be launched around August 2019. Although the new OS won’t cause a major overhaul of the Android system like Android Pie did, Android 10 offers significant updates and innovative features nonetheless.
In terms of performance, it’s hard to say if Android 10 Q is going to be amazing, a flop, or just so-so.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.