The early Android Q leaked build we have obtained was built just this week with the February 2019 security patches, and it’s up-to-date with Google’s AOSP internal master. That means it has a ton of new Android platform features that you won’t find anywhere publicly, but there are no Google Pixel software customizations nor are there pre-installed Google Play apps or services so I don’t have any new information to share on those fronts. Still, there’s a lot to digest here, so we’ve flashed the build on the Pixel 3 XL to find out what’s new—both on the surface-level and under-the-hood. This article will focus on all the surface-level changes we’ve found in Android Q.
There’s a lot of good stuff in here, most notably a complete redesign of the permissions user interface, as well as even stricter limitations on what applications can do, such as only granting certain permissions while the application in question is in use. There’s also a system-wide dark mode, hints of a DeX-like desktop mode, and a lot more.
Here’s to hoping they actually let you choose whether you want to use the dark mode or not independent of what you have as a background picture. Technically, current versions of Android (at least on Pixel and Nexus devices) have a dark mode for certain parts of the system UI (the left home screen on the Google Now and Pixel launchers, and the quick actions area), but whether it’s used or not is entirely dependent on whether the system thinks your background picture is ‘dark’ or not.
Ugh,…. They probably should have skipped this letter. Or maybe just switched to a different naming scheme altogether.