Android Q Top Features Revealed in Early Build, Including Desktop Mode

The successor to Android Pie just got a very early preview. A pre-release build of Android Q has revealed several potential features for Google's next big release.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

According to an examination of the operating system on a Google Pixel 3 XL by XDA Developers (via Engadget), previous rumours about a dark mode option for the whole OS have proven true. There’s also an override option that allows developers to force apps without a specifically designed dark mode to swap colors to those more suited for viewing in low-light environments.

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A further potential feature is a desktop mode. The easiest comparison to make would be the system present on Samsung devices like DeX for the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 or the Galaxy Tab S4, which lets users hook up their phones or tablets to monitors and keyboards for a more desktop-friendly layout, complete with a taskbar and greater control over the size and position of app windows. It would be a welcome feature for a small number of users currently, but sadly it doesn’t seem functional at the moment.

It’s important to remember that this release isn’t even the official developer pre-release, so it’ll be some time before any of these features can be described as ‘confirmed’ with a stable near-complete version of Android Q.

The other major thing discovered within the developer options are new functions designed to aid user privacy. Permissions for apps to use certain kinds of data have been made more conditional, for example, allowing an app access to information like device location only when it’s being used. This now appears as an option on the standard permission pop-up, too, making it super easy to set up when you install a new app.

A new icon in the pull-down bar also appears to tell you which of your apps are currently accessing your location, and will let you disable them directly from there too.

Additional smaller new features include a screen recorder, the option to put a wallpaper on your always-on display, and the ability to change how long notifications and pop-ups appear for before sliding or fading out of view. All of these and everything above sound like great ideas, so let's hope they survive to make it onto the full release of Android Q.