No more sweet treats, but here’s Android 10

Kishore Bhargava | | Updated on: Sep 04, 2019

The Android 10 has some sweet features. Here’s a look.

Google has officially released the next version of its Android OS, and it has started its roll-out to Pixel phones.

Android Q is now Android 10. The fun and guessing of dessert names is finally over, and while plain numbers may be boring that’s what we will have to living with. Google has let go of those sweet names as it wants everyone in the world relates to them. And possibly because a Q desert name is difficult to think of, as will be X, Y and Z, at least in English.

So what else changes with Android 10? Listed here are some of the features that will almost immediately affect you.

Gesture navigation

First-up, gesture navigation. While the hardware loses the bezel, the software also decides to lose the navigation bar, giving you yet more screen to use and read. The three-button at the bottom of each phone changed from physical buttons to software to no longer being there. While this takes a bit of time to get used to, there is no going back. However, there are a few related irritants, like trying to access a menu or just going back one step.

Settings offers you a choice of navigation bar options and even shows a helpful graphic as to how each would operate. Interestingly, many of the Chinese phones including OnePlus and Huawei had adopted this navigation method even in Android Pie.

The challenge with removing the three button option and going for gestures is accessing the hamburger menu and using the back option to go to the previous screen is a little iffy. Interestingly, there is now a sensitivity setting which makes life a little easier.

Our recommendation, use the new gesture navigation for a few days to get used to it. We find it more productive not just for switching between apps and navigation, and for phones with larger screens, it seems like a natural and smoother way to interact with the phone.

Dark mode

The next biggest visual change is the introduction of a system-wide dark mode. While the option is in the accessibility menu, it also now appears on the quick settings and is just a pull down away. Since many apps now support dark mode natively, this is a great addition, to get away from the glare and welcome to the dark side.

Along with dark mode, the system now also supports colour accents. While not a very large selection of colours, just six to choose from, at least you can personalise your phone just a wee bit. Accent colours is currently hidden in the developer options under themes, but will probably be available in the settings menu on the final release.

Faster, convenient sharing

Sharing is caring and now, sharing content is a little easier and smoother in Android 10. The Share menu has been revamped, it works faster and has more options. It also has frequently used apps and contacts listed, so sharing is literally a tap away.

An interesting addition to this is the ability to share your Wi-Fi connection via a QR code. During the beta for Android Q, this has seen some subtle changes with first options only showing a QR code, but the beta 6 now also displaying the Wi-Fi password. Either way, it is super easy to have your friends and family connect to your network just by showing them the QR code.

For those who use a Pixel and love the camera, good news is that night shift now comes to the main menu, pushing the panorama option one step down. I guess by looking at usage, Google probably found that more long exposure low-light photos are taken compared to panoramic ones, and it made sense to move this option around.

Live captions

At Google I/O, one of the features that caught everyone’s eye was Live Caption. This is one of those super cool features that one wonders why it has not been introduced earlier.

For those with hearing issues and for times when you can’t have audio on, live caption transcribes whatever is playing, be it a podcast, a video or anything else. The best part is that this can be done without an Internet connection.

The problem is this feature may not come to all phones, it will certainly feature on the Pixel, but since it is CPU and memory intensive, it will need a high-end phone with a fast processor and tons of memory.

Leg-up for security

Security and privacy are also being stepped up. You now have the choice of giving your apps permission to use your location only while the app is in use, rather than being on all the time.

There are tons of new features being introduced including native screen-recording, desktop mode, context-based settings and more. The best part is that this will not be restricted to just the Pixel devices, but the is now being extended to many more phones. The beta programme had at least 15 other devices listed.

Despite no longer having dessert names, it looks like some sweet times ahead.

Published on September 04, 2019

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