January 21, 2019
While Android Pie is still available to only a select few Android devices, we've got a taste for what may be coming in Android Q. Android enthusiast site XDA Developers got their hands on an early build of Android Q to examine changes coming later this year.
The build appears to be from February 2019, so these are recent changes that will likely feature at Google I/O this year. Significant changes seem to include a system-wide dark theme for the OS, a permission re-vamp for tighter controls, and a desktop mode.
System-Wide Dark Mode
The rumored dark mode for Android Q appears in this version of Android. The fully functional system-wide dark mode is a toggle in Display settings. The feature can be set to be always enabled, or only enabled depending on the time of day.
A native dark theme is something Android fans have been asking Google for since Material design surfaced. The new dark mode isn't a full black, which is a disappointment for AMOLED screens fans. A built-in option in Android Q appears to feature a dark mode override for apps that don't support dark mode themselves.
Google focused on revamping permissions in Android P, but the release of Android Q appears to fine-tune permissions further. A new overview of permission access gives users a better idea of which permissions an app may have. It also restricts specific permissions like location to prevent abuse by apps that don't need that information.
A new option found hidden in the developer options appears to show a new desktop mode for Android. The option says "force experimental desktop mode on secondary displays" which indicates it might not be fully functional yet.
Samsung has experimented with this idea with its DeX UI, which transforms its smartphones into a desktop that can be manipulated with a mouse. Manufacturer modifications like that have inspired several default options in stock Android.
While the desktop mode is present in this version of Android Q, it may not make it to final release. Some experimental features never make it into the final build.
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