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First Android Q beta rolls out to Pixel phones

Android Q Beta 1 is now available for a handful of phones. (Source: Google)
Android Q Beta 1 is now available for a handful of phones. (Source: Google)
It's finally here - Q has been released for download and use - albeit only on Pixel-line phones. On the other hand, this Beta 1 form of the OS is mainly meant for development and testing, not daily use. However, it does come with most of the promised and projected new features associated with the next version of Android.

Pixel 1 to 3-series owners rejoice: the first Android 10 beta is now available for download. Users who wish to install this new OS version may need to enrol in Google's program for the purpose beforehand. They may also need to be aware that this builld may be buggy and unstable in the extreme. However, developers, testers and enthusiasts may find this early insight into the next major upgrade for the platform valuable nonetheless.

Beta users may find a number of the new features expected as a result of previous leaks. They include the system-wide dark mode, although some phones may have issues implementing it at this stage. There are also expanded privacy-related permission pop-ups for new or newly-started apps.

The possibility that clipboard contents may be read by third-party apps has also been blocked, as promised. Furthermore, the long-awaited Desktop Mode has been included in this beta; however, it is not completely functional in this build.

There are also a number of completely novel new tweaks in this first beta. The remaining battery run-time can now be shown in the status bar on pull-down. Many of these new Q Beta 1 features may increase convenience, ease-of-use or security for the user. However, there are some potentially negative aspects to its new UI.

For example, the beta makes it impossible to dismiss notifications in the pull-down shade by swiping them to the left. This issue has never applied to Android before, and may impact on dominant-hand phone use for some people. It remains to be seen if this new problem makes it to the stable version, or to the upcoming betas, some of which will be available for a number of non-Pixel phones.

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-03-14 (Update: 2019-03-14)