Android 10 is launched after almost a year of development and intense testing by early adopters. Previously known as Android Q, Android 10 made its presence felt during Google's Android Developer Summit conference held last November.
Android 10 focuses on four different key areas
- Advanced machine-learning
- Strong support for emerging devices like foldable and 5G enabled phones
- Focus on privacy and security, with a whole suite of new features giving users exceptional protection, transparency, and control
- Aims to improve digital wellbeing controls to strike a balance with technology.
The latest release of Android 10 source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) aims to make the Android a robust ecosystem. However, not all smartphones will be receiving Android 10 immediately. Only the owners of Google's Pixel smartphones will be able to update their device to the latest version including:
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Google Pixel 2
- Google Pixel 2 XL
- Google Pixel 3
- Google Pixel 3 XL
- Google Pixel 3a
- Google Pixel 3a XL
Several partner devices, including in the Beta program, will receive the update by the end of the year.
Android 10: What is the new Android update?
Here is a quick roundup of the main features of Android 10. In order to gain benefits, partner with a leading mobile app development company.
Android 10 brings system-wide Dark Theme aimed at reducing eye strain as well as save battery life. Android 10, dark mode will apply to both the system UI and specific apps. However, it would work if you opt-in and activate the battery-saving setting on a Pixel running Android 10, dark mode will be enabled by default. Now, YouTube, Google Fit, Google Keep, and Google Calendar will provide the dark mode. Later this month, Gmail and Chrome will support the dark theme. Users can activate the system-wide dark theme from Settings > Display
The new Quick Settings tile or by turning on Battery Saver. Besides changing the system UI to dark, supporting apps will also show a new dark theme. If developers don't want to build dark themes, they can opt-in to a new Force Dark feature that lets the latest operating system creates a dark version of their app. The feature can be extended by developers for different app versions, including for older versions of Android.
Heightened Measure for Privacy Control
Android 10 has all new Privacy section within Settings, and this section includes Activity Controls, Location History, and Ad Settings, amongst other options.
- New features including options for granting app location permission (i.e., All the time, Allow only while using the app)
- Scoped Storage for better control over apps to access files on external storage like a microSD card, as well as restricting app access to information deemed sensitive app data.
- Blocking unwanted app launches from the background
An advanced DND mode, if you will. Focus Mode lets users silence apps that cause distraction until they exit the mode. The new mode can be turned on and off via Quick Tiles pretty quickly.
One of the most interesting features of Android 10 is Live Caption. Live Caption is based on the technology developed for YouTube. This on-device captioning tool lets the OS provide captions for audio messages, videos, and podcasts across the different app. While advantageous to users looking to watch things on mute, it will also be beneficial to those with difficulty in hearing.
New hierarchy system for notifications mainly classified into Gentle and Priority tiers. This is intended to help users manage to deal with notification overload. Priority notifications will grab users' attention with sounds and status bar icons, and will appear on the lock screen, while Gentle notifications will always be silent and will simply live in the pull-down notifications shade.
Ever since its inception, security has been one of the main pain areas of Android. This new version of Android 10 takes steps in the right direction to ensure safety through advances in encryption, platform hardening, and authentication.
- Storage encryption: Devices compatible with Android 10 are required to encrypt user data, and to make this more efficient, Android 10 includes new encryption mode Adiantum.
- TLS 1.3 by default: Android 10 also allows TLS 1.3 by default, a significant revision to the TLS standard with performance benefits and improved security.
- Platform hardening - Hardening of security-critical areas of the platform and updates to the BiometricPrompt framework with support for face and fingerprint both in implicit and explicit authentication.
Android 10 comes with a completely new style of notifications, termed "Bubbles," allowing users to multitask while conducting a conversation quickly.
- Floating icons appear on the screen for chat notifications allowing the user to pick up a conversation at any time.
- Users can drag bubbles to any part of the screen and tap to expand the associated app's message view and composition tools.
Designed explicitly for notifications requiring user interaction, Bubbles will prioritize communication notifications. Users will be able to pin to home screens for continual access.
Smart Reply and Actions
Smart Reply and Actions into the Notifications framework offers system-provided smart replies and actions. These are inserted directly into notifications by default. App developers can supply their responses and actions. If the received message contains an address, all notifications from messaging apps will send highly contextual information as a reply or even launch a location-based app, such as Google Maps.
How to install Android 10
If you have a Pixel phone, either in the Android 10 beta program or still on Android 9.0 Pie, you can check for and install the latest Android update by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update > Check for update.
Is your App Ready to Embrace Android 10?
With the latest release of Android 10 coming to devices, it is about time to partner with Android developers to update existing apps for compatibility and ensure users experience a smooth transition to Android 10.
- Install your existing app from Google Play onto a Pixel or other device running Android 10 or an emulator, then test. Your app should look impressive and function well and handle all of the Android 10 behavior changes properly.
- Test extensively for new privacy features, such as new location permissions, scoped storage, restrictions on background activity starts, as well as changes to data and identifiers.
- Upon identifying an issue, update to the latest version of the SDK or reach out to SDK developer for help.
- Once you have finished your testing and made any updates, developers can publish a compatible app right away. This helps to deliver a smooth transition to users as they update to Android 10.
Android 10 will take mobile app development to the next level. It is important to embrace change focused on innovation and new experiences.